The squall came in quickly and hard, just as we were about to walk out the door, so there was nothing to do but lie on the bed, beneath the skylight, and watch it lash at the glass and send leaves skittering until it spent itself and moved on, as we did, out into a chilly world of mostly gray skies with patches of pink and blue.
Little rivulets ran down the sloped side of the street, and three waterfalls ran down the face of Makaleha, which was crowned with a puff of pinkish-orangey-gold. Meanwhile, clouds drifting south had picked up a rainbow column, which turned into a rainbow arch, which turned into a rainbow fragment floating above the mountains.
We came upon two small black pigs scratching their backs against a creosote-covered utility pole, but upon spying an alert, excited Koko they gave little barks of alarm, then slipped under the fence of a wooded lot and disappeared from sight.
Such apparently is not the case with toilet paper at Kalalau Valley. A friend said his recent hike into the valley was marred by crowds, helicopters and the sight of used TP everywhere, even tucked into the rock walls of ancient terraces and house sites. “It’s not the hippies living back there who are doing it,” he said. “It’s the people just passing through on their way on someplace else, the ones who hang out there for a month or two, thinking they're connecting with the land while they shit everywhere.” He said the valley was packed, with perhaps double the number of people allowed by permits, but for the first time ever, he did not see any nudity.
“Kauai sure is changing,” he said.
But not the way the cops are claiming. I checked with several folks in the know who said Officer Mark Ozaki was flat out lying when he said there’s a new strain of pot being grown on Kauai that goes from seed to harvest in 28 days and has a THC content of 60 to 70 percent.
“I wish,” said one.
You’d think that given KPD’s ongoing problem with credibility, they wouldn’t make stuff up.
But then, some people believe KIUC’s claim that it’s not to blame for the decline of Newell’s shearwaters, even though I picked up a dead one beneath a maze of 11 electric wires strung across the flyway to a nesting colony. That’s another nest that won’t make it this year, since a chick won’t survive without feeding by both parents.
The criminal trial against KIUC — such indictments are rare, as Michael Levine reported in Civil Beat a while back — is now set for Aug. 24, but that date will change. The feds are pushing for September or October, but KIUC wants to delay until Dec. 7.
That’s about the same length of time the County Council wants to delay making its proceedings accessible to the public by posting more of its documents on line and live-streaming its meetings. Guess you wouldn’t want folks to see too much of that sausage-making before they go to the polls….
We’ve seen an awful lot of stories that have Kauai Springs whining large about its alleged mistreatment by the county — waaah — but while the most recent is especially pathetic, it’s not piteous. It’s kind of hard to feel sorry for someone who moves here from somewhere else and starts bottling a public resource for his private profit, without getting the proper permits, especially since it’s quite clear that selling out is the real game plan here:
Several companies have approached Kaua‘i Springs “to buy out its stock,” [owner Jim] Satterfield wrote in an e-mail. However, the “family-owned business is stuck.”
“We cannot sell the company with the [county’s legal] appeal attached,” he said.
Meanwhile, the legal wrangling over passports that prevented Iroquois Nationals from playing in the World Lacrosse Championships offered Native Hawaiians a look at the kind of treatment they might expect under the Akaka Bill’s version of “sovereignty:”
"That's the reality of today's situation where the tribes continue to be dealt with on this relegated status and subject to the power of the United States government," [Hopi Cultural Preservation Office Director Leigh] Kuwanwisiwma said.
And finally, as I enjoyed some excellent cherries this weekend, I sent out a mahalo to the farm workers, some of them likely undocumented, who made that treat possible. All the xenophobes clamoring for tighter border controls and stiffer immigration policies need to wake up and get real: without Mexicans in the slaughter houses, fields and packing sheds, they wouldn’t find much to eat in the grocery stores.