The big moon, which got me up and out the past two nights to revel in its glory, was still gloriously bright when Koko and I went walking this morning. My head swiveled from the rosy stain growing in the eastern sky to the sphere in the west that seemed to be growing larger, and certainly was becoming more yellow, as it descended toward Waialeale, which wore a raspberry beret, to borrow a line from Prince.
About that time I ran into Farmer Jerry on his way to work, and when he stopped to talk I told him to pull up a little bit so I could watch the moon, which was just about to set, and he happily obliged because he appreciates such things, too. And as it slipped down we chatted about pruning lychee, and plans to install another fence on Waialeale to keep out the pigs and the decision to move the high school football games to daytime to protect Newell’s shearwaters, two of which he’d seen dead on the road this past week.
“When I was playing football in high school, 20 or 30 of them would drop during a game,” he said. "This was over at Isenberg Park."
“What did they do?” I asked.
“Throw ‘em on the side and let the cats finish ‘em off,” he said. “There were a lot of birds then, and there wasn’t much consciousness at that time.”
“There still isn’t,” I said, and he agreed, adding that if the pros can play football during the day, that ought to be good enough for the kids.
As the moon grew whiter and sunk lower in a lavender sky, Waialeale draped herself in purple hues and our talk turned to politics, which got us both feeling a little down, until we brought things back around to the beauty of this place and felt better again.
Yes, the political season is in full swing, as the campaign signs attest, some of them dating back years. The other day I was driving with a friend down Olohena when he pointed out an I Like Lehua sign way up a hill. And you still see the John Hoff pineapple signs here and there.
Candidates took advantage of Saturday’s Koloa Days parade to gain some visibility, with the mayor riding a horse that was sweating beneath the load and Tim Bynum and Derek Kawakami carrying the County Council banner as Kaipo Asing trotted along, waving to the crowd. Jay Furfaro wasn’t walking with them, but as a friend noted, he’s more the kind of guy you’d expect to see on a float.
Neil Abercrombie was there, too, and Jon Riki Kuramatsu, who is running for Lieutenant Governor against Gary Hooser, who issued a strong statement pointing out one of the differences between himself and Lt. Gov Duke Aiona, who is running for governor:
The people of Hawaii watched as the Governor blatantly disregarded the promises contained in both the Federal and State constitutions. She was aided and abetted in this assault on civil rights by a Lieutenant Governor who has made no secret of his missionary zeal of “saving Hawaii for Jesus” - driven by his version of the bible and his version of God’s word.
The need to separate church and state is just one of the things that makes me a little uncomfortable about Mufi Hanneman, who bases his leadership style on the Mormon faith and directs his staff to pray about decisions, according to an article in the Mormon Times.
Getting back to local issues, the bill that would allow vacation rentals on agricultural lands to apply for a special use permit will go to the full Council for a vote on Wednesday. During last week’s committee hearing, both Jay and Tim said several times that it’s all about due process, giving folks a chance to apply. But if that’s really the case, why make it so easy for them to get the permit by easing requirements in the existing TVR bill and adding that big loophole that allows even those without a farm to get approved if the surrounding uses won’t support intensive agriculture?
It seems that allowing the planning department and commission to decide whether land can support intensive agriculture undermines the work of the Important Ag Lands group.
And as another Council observer noted, will this result in a separate tax class for vacation rentals on ag land? Has the Council really thought through all the ramifications?
Former Councilman Mel Rapozo, who is running again, is making this a key component of his campaign, devoting considerable blog space to the topic and publicizing an on-line petition asking the Council to reject the bill.
Meanwhile, I did ask Council candidate JoAnn Yukimura to clarify her stand on ag TVRs back on July 13 and got this email response:
Yes, my position has appeared confusing--partly because I am still searching for a fair and clear resolution of a situation and process that has been fraught with negligence and unwise decisions or inaction over a 30-year span of time. I intend to draft a written statement in the next few days.
So far, though, I haven’t seen it.
While we're talking about emails, one written by attorney Laura Barzilai offers evidence that people do listen to KKCR and things are getting even touchier around the Larsen’s Beach issue. Barzilai represents Patricia Hanwright, who owns property adjacent to the access. The land also is believed to include a segment of the coastal trail that currently runs across McCloskey’s land and stops at her fence.
Anyway, according to the email :
“[I]i was was reported to me by my client and her neighbors that on or about July 14, 2010, Hope [Kallai] and Richard Spacer were guests on the Blue Grass Radio Show, during which time they instructed listeners to commit the crime of trespass upon my client’s private property on non-existent trails southeast of Larsen’s Beach. Any and all trespassers found on my client’s property will be immediately reported to the Kauai Police Department and prosecution will be pursued. We now intend to report Mr. and Mrs. Spacer’s instructions to the police.
I’m not sure that inciting to trespass is a crime, but these days, who knows.
And finally, just to end on a positive note, I did a little story for Honolulu Weekly that offers proof that people can make a difference if they get on it and don't give up.