Thursday, August 19, 2010

Musings: Just Right

A fiery red eye was blinking above the horizon when Koko and I stepped out onto the porch this morning, and I watched it open wide as I put on my shoes. It caused the sky to form a mosaic of pink, gray, orange, blue and white when we set out walking in a world washed fresh by a rain that had departed just minutes before.

The mountains were obscured, the pastures were glistening and so were the trees, adorned as they were in sparkling raindrops. The air was balmy, yet fresh; in short, it was all just right.

Assuming that Paul Curtis’ reportage is right, which is a major assumption, Kauai Prosecutor Shaylene Iseri-Carvalho was dinged by Circuit Court Judge Kathleen Watanabe for “prosecutorial misconduct” stemming from her sloppy, unprofessional actions in an incest case. As a result, the judge reluctantly dismissed some of the charges. Shaylene’s been taking quite a few cracks in the courtroom lately, which is no surprise, given the general consensus that she’s “out of control.”

The competency of the Native Hawaiian Legal Corp. team has taken some unfair cracks over the years from people commenting on this blog, but yesterday it prevailed in a case that went all the way to the Hawaii Supreme Court.

The high Court found that Peter Young, former chair of the Board of Land and Natural Resources, had improperly denied Paulette Kaleikini’s request for a contested case hearing challenging a Burial Treatment Plan (BTP) that called for removing iwi from the General Growth Properties site in Honolulu.

The plan was endorsed by a 6-3 vote of the Oahu Island Burial Council, with Kaleikini contending in her legal filings that some of its members lacked the understanding of Hawaiian cultural practices required to serve on the Board. Not all Burial Council members are Native Hawaiians or cultural practitioners; some members are appointed to represent development interests.

The Court's decision underscores an important point that has been brought up repeatedly by preservationists, and that’s the need for developers to do good archaeological surveys before they design their projects and begin construction.

But even though the state was rapped for arbitrarily denying Kaleikini her right to a contested case hearing, and lower courts were rapped for denying her appeal on the grounds that it was moot, since construction was already under way — the Justices disagreed, saying Hawaiian burial issues are of “great public importance” — it’s not likely to change the disrespectful way that the state and developers handle burials.

As one attorney noted:

This has been the law for years. You think DLNR is going to start following the law now?

Because what it comes down to in this and other cases — including Joe Brescia’s house at Naue, where DLNR also was found by the court to have acted improperly — is that it took four years to get to this point, some of the iwi already have been moved and construction is proceeding.

Delay is an extremely effective tactic.

Besides, as one legal observer noted about the decision:

I really do not see it as significant since all it does is require an administrative hearing the results of which will be clear before it begins....

While we're on the topic of done deals, a reader challenged a comment I’d made in my last post about transient vacation rentals that the new bill “actually opens the door for TVR owners not just in the ag district, but everywhere else who didn’t apply the last time around:"

really? I don't think that is an accurate statement. I thought it said something about 2008 use date?

It's true that applicants do have to provide a sworn affidavit attesting that the use of the residence as a TVR occurred prior to March 7, 2008. What I'm saying is that some people didn't apply when the last TVR bill was adopted because they weren’t in compliance with zoning laws — you know, they were doing stuff like operating multifamily TVRs and putting guests into ground floor units that were illegally enclosed in a flood zone — or knew their structure did not conform with their building permits.

Now they can come in and apply because, thanks to wording added by Councilman Tim Bynum, there is no longer a mandatory inspection process.

As another reader commented:

And Tim, if the new ordinance didn't open the process back up for more business' to apply, why didn't the new language just address ag?

Good question, especially since this bill was also widely touted as being needed for the sake of "fairness” and to give the poor mistreated ag land TVR operators their right to “due process.”

That was all window-dressing. Instead, the bill re-opens a door that was properly closed and put the burden for decisions on the Planning Commission. Given its past performance, it's unlikely to provide the kind of rigorous review that some Councilmembers imagined would magically occur. So who knows what kind of substandard stuff is going to be rubber stamped, or how many TVRs will be added to the inventory under this bill.

And that's just not right.

60 comments:

Anonymous said...

Tim and co have been quick to say it was the fault of past councilmembers for doing nothing . This council will forever go down as the stupid council that passed the law that legalized TVR's on AG land. much worse than council's who did nothing, bad law is bad law.

Anonymous said...

You are still wrong, the burden of proving use (taxes paid) prior to the 2008 date still applies to the owner, zoning violation or not.

If the had a ding, but paid TAT & GE, in your world, could the correct their violation?

Anonymous said...

What is a floor zone?

Anonymous said...

Regarding Watanabe: She should not have relied on technicalities. The charges were all for incest against the same person in the same manner etc. The Defendants due process was not violated.

Regarding the TVR's: This whole situation is just a complete mess! You let one roach in, you let them all in! Sue the bums. Return everything back to ag land as it should have been...providing food and jobs for the island. This issue should be tracked for a referendum and voted directly by the people, and not relied on by corrupt politicians.

Thank you Joan. You're doing a great job.

Tim said...

The bill changed the provisions that dinged owners with building code violations because HRS 46.4 says very clearly that the County cannot deny use because of building code violations. We can and will make owners clear the violations. The bill does not legalize TVRs on ag land. The bill clearly states that applicants have to conform with HRS 205.

It does not allow new TVR's. It requires that applicants not only sign an affidavit attesting that the use of the residence as a TVR occurred prior to March 7, 2008; they also have to provide tax documents to prove it.

The reason for this bill is to properly close the door not open it. And yes the door should have been closed in 2000 when the General Plan clearly asked for the politicians to do it.

The GP also asks us to deal with "gentlemen estates"on ag land; a misuse of ag land that has a much bigger impact. The fact is that a Council majority rejected efforts in 2000,2002 and 2008 to do so. I have bills pending now that I had to go to extraordinary lengths to even get on the agenda, I hope you will all follow and support these bills.

And yes I live in an ag subdivision because like many other Kauai residents who purchased their homes in the late 90's and early 2000's there was little or no inventory in neighborhoods in towns. I didn't know then what I know now about proper planning. But the proliferation of defacto residential development on ag lands at the expense of appropriate urban expansion that occurs subsequent to community development plans was bad planning then and it is bad planning now. In the past ag parcels, although bad planning, were at least affordable to working people but that ship has sailed.
Tim Bynum

Anonymous said...

"some of the iwi already have been moved and construction is proceeding."

No iwi were moved and construction appears to be completed. Check with Harold B. on that.

Joan Conrow said...

What is a floor zone?

It's a typo. I meant flood zone.

No iwi were moved and construction appears to be completed. Check with Harold B. on that.

I was referencing the General Growth Properties that was involved in the Supreme Court's decision, not Brescia's house.

We can and will make owners clear the violations.

But how will you know if there's no inspection?

Tim said...

The amendment I did was intended to let applicants know that they had to comply with an inspection if the Planning Dept. chooses to inspect. Removing the requirement was to keep from micro managing the Department by requiring inspections that were in many instances unnecessary and had already occurred. It leaves it up to the Department to do their job but not mandate costly make work. I understand the concerns regarding how well the Department does manage but that is the Mayor's kuleana. I believe the Department is improving.
Have you reviewed the new ag bills?

Anonymous said...

Where is there a website that discusses all things Kauai EXCEPT:

politics
ag/farming
superferry
burial treatments
"good locals" vs "bad mainlanders"

Something "for the rest of us" who want to enjoy Kauai as either a visitor, temp or full time resident and who is apolitical and disinterested in "causes".

Anywhere? Anywhere??

How bout here? eliminate those 5 topics and all things akin to them and I think there would be maybe 5 words left in the whole thing.

Anonymous said...

Is someone holding a gun to your head and forcing you to read this blog? If not, exercise your freedom to read other material or whine elsewhere.

Re Tim's "little or no inventory" comment. Who was your realtor? I see empty lots today in residential subdivisions that were developed in the seventies and eighties. That guy who lives on ag land that testified about the noisy neighbors said that he signed an agreement that he would farm. Are you farming?

Anonymous said...

Hey Tim, was Ken Taylor accurate when he testified that you told him that you had an outstanding issue with the Planning Department? If so, what is it? Thank you.

Anonymous said...

"I couldn't find residential property in Kapaa or Lihue or Waimea or Hanapepe or Kalaheo or Lawai or Koloa or Hanamaulu or Puhi or Kilauea or Omao or Eleele or Wailua or Princeville or Hanalei or anywhere else on this island so I had to buy ag land." That has to rank up there with "The dog peed on my homework."

Anonymous said...

Gosh is it just me or does Tim remind you of an irritating whiny brat who cries when he can't get his way. He has already taken care of his buddies with TVR's on ag land and now that he has his gentleman farm and "farm dwelling" NOW he wants to save ag land. Thank you savior Tim! We worship the ground you walk on. For your information you sound like a whiny brat on the radio today. I am so sorry that where you came from was so much better and we are so far behind. Get a grip! What a sorry excuse for a man! Here's a tissue for your tears!

Anonymous said...

Tim, are you going to answer the following question?

"Hey Tim, was Ken Taylor accurate when he testified that you told him that you had an outstanding issue with the Planning Department? If so, what is it? Thank you."

Anonymous said...

Why is the Christiansen TVR in Ha'ena on the 8/24 Planning Commission Agenda again???????

Anonymous said...

I think Shaylene deserves our respect, she was one of the best councilpersons we ever had, and Paul Curtis always gets the stories wrong, why is he after her? She's been a good prosecutor, a hard, demanding, thankless job.

Anonymous said...

Seriously Tim under the leadership of Ian you have unrealistic hopes for the Planning Department...we have witnessed the dysfunction for years. To create the bill and say it is the Mayor's kuleana is you hoping for the best. It will be easy to blame Bernard when problems that are foreseen now come to fruition. It will be too late for the real farmers then.

Anonymous said...

Shaylene Kaipo and Mel can find problems not solutions.

Anonymous said...

Obviously the Christianson TVR will be approved under the new law, it is quaranteed to go through now. That was the object of the law change, not just to add AG resort s, but to allow ALL to be granted the right to operate resorts in the residential or shall i say, in what were northshore communities, without any possible objection. There is nothing to comply with now. If you have a TAT licence, your there. Under what criteria could the PC deny anyone now?

Dawson said...

Where is there a website that discusses all things Kauai EXCEPT:

politics
ag/farming
superferry
burial treatments
"good locals" vs "bad mainlanders"

Something "for the rest of us" who want to enjoy Kauai as either a visitor, temp or full time resident and who is apolitical and disinterested in "causes".

Anywhere? Anywhere??

How bout here?"


Nah. Here's a better idea: rather than trying to censor other writers' blogs, start your own.

Think of it -- your very own blog! Discuss anything you like! Forbid any discussion on anything you don't like!

All it takes is time (which you obviously have) and something worthwhile to discuss (which we'll see when you go online).

Do it. Amaze us.

Anonymous said...

I'm a commentator, not a blogger. Besides, I want to learn from someone who has useful info on Kauai, not including the aformentioned subjects.

If not, well, that's pretty sad.

Anonymous said...

No tvrs in conservation, happy yet?

Anonymous said...

"that's pretty sad.

August 20, 2010 1:12 PM"

sadly go away.

Anonymous said...

You want information on Kauai? Go read a guidebook or call the visitor's bureau. What do you comment on? The fact that you can't read what you want here? That ain't commenting, that's whining.

Anonymous said...

It's also making fun of the "small town politics" that seems to rule the thinking of so many here.

It's not whining...it's being cynically sarcastic of the "lifeboat" mentality.

Anonymous said...

Hey where did Tim go?
Tuck tail and run, punk?
If you find the courage to answer the question someone put out, will you answer another one?: tell us how your TVR on ag land is not a TVR on ag land.

Anonymous said...

Christianson is a realtor as well.
When asked about inadvertantly buying Crown Land if one were to purchase one of his lots, his reply was:
"Oh haha haha, if youʻre worried about that sovereignty thing, I can guarantee you it isnʻt going to happen."

Anonymous said...

If you can't see the context of the issues that Joan covers in her blogs beyond "small town politics", then keep reading, it may sink in. The "lifeboat" that you so cynically mock includes your worthless ass as well. You're just too stupid to realize it.

Anonymous said...

No it doesn't. I don't live there.

I live on the Big Island. Big enough to hold all the other Hawaiian islands more than twice over.

We on the BI don't go apoplectic over the stuff that gets your panties in a twist.

I'm sure glad we didn't move to Kauai 10 years ago.

Lifeboat mentality.

But I really do love Brescia's house.

Anonymous said...

7:35
Seems like you enjoy stirring the pot, then love to complain about what we put in it.

Kona? Sounds perfect.

Joan Conrow said...

Yes, we all know Kona has no problems at all with traffic, gentleman's estates, haoles vs locals, misuse of ag land, environmental degradation and cultural desecretion. Oh, and don't forget depleted uranium!

Anonymous said...

Ah, there's the rub. Joan's perspective is much broader in scope. Your viewpoint is limited to your narrow focus and your short timeline. You think that your immune to the concerns raised by Joan, because you're can't see beyond what's directly in front of you. It's all about context, and you have none.

Anonymous said...

But we, for the most part, just don't care about BI problems. There's just too much land. People can move elsewhere.

Gentleman's estates are wonderful here. Traffic isn't that bad.

Locals? Eh. They live "over there". The island's big enough for the both of us.

Ag land? Eh. If we want produce, we go to the store like normal people.

Welcome to Haolewood!!

And we're getting more military presence!! Wonderful!!

More airstrips being built for them.

Anonymous said...

There's nothing wrong with my perspective nor context.

I just wish I could live long enough to see it. Kauai turned into a mainlander's perfect "Disneyland".

Wonderful gated estates and communities, more golf courses, more big-box stores, more chain restaurants.

It's coming.

Anonymous said...

there is bad development and good development - change is inevitable, the question is will it be perceived as a bad or a good?

Anonymous said...

Depends on the "perceptor"

Anonymous said...

I've got nothing against the OCCASIONAL discussion of politics and its closely-related subjects, but CONSTANTLY???

Is there nothing of interest on that island community worth discussing??

A big dose of "variation" would be nice.

Anonymous said...

Like what?

Anonymous said...

"I just wish I could live long enough to see it. Kauai turned into a mainlander's perfect "Disneyland".

Wonderful gated estates and communities, more golf courses, more big-box stores, more chain restaurants."

Well, that's not the winning Miss America sentiment. It's idiotic enough and is sufficiently lacking in imagination, so you get a C for effort.

Anonymous said...

Mr. Christionson is not a realtor, he is an older man, close to 80, where do you get your information? or just spreading bullshit here?

Anonymous said...

"Like what?"

Is that an admission that, in your mind at least, there really is nothing else to talk about on Kauai than local politics, et. al.?

Man, I hope not!

24/7 of Kauai's version of "Inside the Beltway".

Stomach flu would be better...

Anonymous said...

How about:

scuba diving

hiking

why water skiing isn't popular in Hawaii

camping

best photo ops (not at political functions!)

underwater photography in Kauai

shore diving opportunities on Kauai

home brewing (beer, wine) on Kauai

local restaurant scene, prices, service

nightlife

cost of electricity on Kauai vs other islands. ROI of solar.

"Eclectic" topics...not "monolithic" ones beaten into the ground already.

Discuss them here...don't point to other sources.

Anonymous said...

Think the Kauai version of konaweb.com

konabob (who runs the place) makes it a strong point that political talk will not be tolerated.

Although it's a little too much like a "church ice cream social" for my taste, it is, at least, interesting on many levels.

punaweb

kona forum (it has a dirty joke section!!)

Anonymous said...

"camping

best photo ops (not at political functions!)

underwater photography in Kauai

shore diving opportunities on Kauai

home brewing (beer, wine) on Kauai

local restaurant scene, prices, service

nightlife"

None of that shit happening here. Tell your friends.

Anonymous said...

Sounds like a real shithole island.

Thanks for the info.

Anonymous said...

Yup, it's a real shit hole of an island alright! Be sure to tell your friends to stay away, then you can go visit them for a long, extended vacation. Maybe even move there!

Anonymous said...

But we have the money and technology to make it into something people would really want to visit and own.

We think we'll do that, instead.

20th and 21st century terraforming to suit the needs of our deep-pocketed investors.

Anonymous said...

"But we have the money and technology to make it into something people would really want to visit and own.

We think we'll do that, instead.

20th and 21st century terraforming to suit the needs of our deep-pocketed investors."

Better learn Mandarin and Cantonese. American real estate investors have lost trillions.

Anonymous said...

From the NY Times:

"Dean Baker, co-director of the Center for Economic and Policy Research, estimates that it will take 20 years to recoup the $6 trillion of housing wealth that has been lost since 2005. After adjusting for inflation, values will never catch up."

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/08/23/business/economy/23decline.html?ref=economy

Those deep pockets are empty, but no big deal for "your" investors. Maybe they want to buy a bridge in Brooklyn, instead.

Anonymous said...

And, yet, development continues...

It's a buyer's market for people with money.

On the BI, you can get a brand new 3 bed/2 bath 2 car enclosed garage house on an acre for 130K.

Lots of spec houses just sitting there...

We know one person who bought 4 of them at once...paid cash.

Anonymous said...

"Dean Baker, co-director of the Center for Economic and Policy Research, estimates that it will take 20 years to recoup the $6 trillion"

not on kauai where there is high demand and low inventory.
You have a relativey high birth rate and easy immigration. The buyers be pouring in from the western pacific.

Anonymous said...

Geriatric boomers and Chinese nationals! Get ready, Kauai.

Anonymous said...

Got that right. A while back there was a news article about the 73 million boomers set to inherit trillions from their previous generation, plus their own earnings.

The article went on to say the money was being spent primarily on travel and real estate investments.

Hawaii has a huge "for sale" sign on it plus bargain basement pricing for those with money to spend. And there are still plenty of those.

Anonymous said...

Cycles.

Today's winners often become tomorrow's losers.

We moved to Hawaii in 2000, lived for 3.5 yrs in the condo we bought in 1998.

We bought it for only $170K (cash purchase) from a distressed Japanese national living in Tokyo. She sold it for $140K less than she paid for it 5 years earlier.

We sold it in 2004 for $650K. Sold it in 6 hours from telling someone we wanted to sell it. No realtors involved...saved that big commish. No taxes, either.

Used that money to buy a fantastic new house on acreage from another distressed seller. Her husband died days before their retirement into this house. She gave up on the whole thing and it fell into our lap for only $449K. Practically threw it at us to get away from the memories. We were able to snatch it up before it ever hit the MLS..the first day after she turned it over to a realtor. Worth easily three times as much.

One person's tragedy is another person's boon. Worked for us with the condo and the house.

All it takes is the right person in the right place at the right time, and with money to spend.

Anonymous said...

ps - and here we sit, with 6+ landscaped acres (gated, but not is a subdivision) and a large, beautiful house with big ohana out-building overlooking over 180 degree ocean views at the 950 foot elevation on the Kona Coast in 2009...with an initial capital investment in real estate of only $170K back in 1998.

And we own it free and clear.

Life is fu*&ing beautiful!

Your mileage may vary.

Joan Conrow said...

Gadfly, no one cares. You're talking to yourself.

Anonymous said...

But I love the story...can't tell it enough!

It's the best winners story ever. I wish all mainlanders could do this.

Anonymous said...

Tim, have your friends been posting to take the attention off of you?

Anonymous said...

I don't know Tim...not even on that island...but from what I've heard, I like him!

Anonymous said...

"Shaylene Kaipo and Mel can find problems not solutions."

Shaylene Kaipo and Mel are THE PROBLEM!