The rain began falling just as we began walking, but since it was merely a sprinkle, and I had an umbrella, we continued, strolling on roadside carpets of green velvet and spent shell ginger blossoms, watching the rain move over the verdant pastures, like a fine lace curtain pulled across the landscape.
Looking mauka, Waialeale and Makaleha were non-existent, while behind us, the Giant was slowly disappearing beneath strands of gray headed south fast.
The rain turned to light mist, then grew heavier and we turned back, to take advantage of a dim dawn, a lullaby of dripping leaves and eaves and the weekend’s openness to enter a second round of sleep.
It seems that many of the stories and issues I cover go multiple rounds, sometimes called without a clear victor, other times concluding in what has obviously been a rigged fight and still other times going on and on, with neither side willing to give up, yet also unable to deliver the knock out blow.
A few of those topics came up on my last radio show, and another — the Path at Wailua — is still being hashed out in my comments section, so I’ll start with that one first, since it even fits into the boxing metaphor of my segue.
A reader raised the question of why there’s such a push to run the Path unbroken across Wailua when the “Spiritually and Hawaiian pono thing” is to avoid further upsets to the area and recreational needs could be met without it. The reader then goes on to answer:
It must run continuous to meet the federal funding grant money that the county is using to build it (and send profits to friendly contractor buddies).
When one understands the mechanism behind the push, one sees the pesky Hawaiian burials won't get in the way of millions of dollars of work and profit promised behind the scenes.
And the Mayor takes the punches in the foreground.
It’s a scenario that plays out repeatedly in Hawaii, which is why we have Joe Brescia’s house atop a cemetery, a Wal-mart atop burials in Honolulu, etc., etc. That’s what comes of worshiping the green paper Akua, to borrow a phrase of OHA’s Kai Markell.
I do so appreciate comments that add something to the discussion and show some understanding of the situation, unlike the dunce who commented on the KIUC indictment:
I see dead animals along the road all the time. However, I don't see them closing all the roads or our state being fined for the "takings".
Ya know, a mind is a terrible thing to waste. Try Google Endangered Species Act.
Getting back to the question of why does the county do what it does, Native Hawaiian Legal Corp. attorney David Kimo Frankel shed a bit of light on the Ka`aka`aniu (Larsen’s) Beach access issue. As I reported on April 22, Waioli Corp. offered the county its choice of three access ways to the beach, with the caveat that it had to accept liability for its pick. It chose the middle path, rather than the lateral path, and so now litigation is likely to move forward to retain access to what Hawaiians have identified as an ala loa, or traditional coastal trail.
David said the liability issue raised by the county and Waioli is a “red herring. The state provides protection to landowners who give land for recreational purposes.” He said that Waioli also could give the trail to the state, which already has accepted other sections of this trail, including on the adjacent McCloskey property.
Further, he said, a landowner cannot legally close off access to a trail or road formed prior to 1892, as Waioli apparently already has done by directing its leasee, Bruce Laymon, to discourage people from using that trail.. But as he also noted, and we see all too frequently: “What is the law and what is reality are two different things.”
Anyway, at the recent Land Board meeting on an appeal of the conservation district use permit granted to Bruce for his pasture fencing project, Waioli attorney Don Wilson told the Board that all the paperwork has been drawn up to give the county the middle access. All that’s left, David reported, is for the County Council to approve it.
So is that when the Mayor and Beth Tokioka are planning to finally break the news to the public? Or are they hoping the matter just slips through without people noticing? And why, if liability isn’t an issue, did the county make this particular choice? Shouldn’t we, the people, be included in such decisions?
And finally, another radio guest, Nancy Redfeather of Hawaii SEED, referenced an article in TIME Magazine that delves into the link between environmental substances and disease. We have this tendency, which gets back to our worship of the green paper Akua, to put stuff on the market before we have any idea what it does. GMOs are a perfect example. And now scientists are connecting pesticides, which go hand-in-hand with GMOs, to Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder.
The article referenced a study published in “Pediatrics” magazine. According to its abstract:
CONCLUSIONS These findings support the hypothesis that organophosphate exposure, at levels common among US children, may contribute to ADHD prevalence. Prospective studies are needed to establish whether this association is causal.
According to an article on the hardly radical Voice of America website:
Lynn Goldman is with the Department of Environmental Health Sciences at Johns Hopkins University School of Public Health in Baltimore. Goldman says the use of pesticides, including organophosphates, is widespread in developing countries, where children are exposed to high levels of pesticides through farming.
"Those kids have much more serious, much more severe, neurological problems," said Goldman. "So, we do see evidence of effects in those populations globally."
Just a little something to think about if you’re living here on “pristine” Kauai, where heavy pesticide-using crops like pineapple and sugar have been widely cultivated and those ever-important because they're income-producing GMO seed crops are still being drenched in the stuff.