Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Musings: Baffling and Disheartening

The days, happily, are getting noticeably longer. It was still quite light when I left the beach at 6 last night, and even without benefit of moon and stars, it was bright enough to walk without a flashlight at 5:30 this morning, beneath a patchy sky that delivered light rain just as the dogs and I returned to our gardenia-perfumed house.

I got an email about radiation advising people to stay out of the rain, and now that the Japanese are finally admitting just how bad their nuclear mess is — which Greenpeace reportedly figured out three weeks ago — you have to wonder what else the world isn’t being told, even as Japan’s prime minister gave his people a Dubya-like post-9/11 “go shopping” pep talk:

"Let's live normally without falling into excessive self-restraint," he said. "We should eat and drink products from the quake-hit areas as a form of support."

I don’t think I’d go that far, but I love the rain too much to consider it a threat.

I also love it when readers report the news, which one person did in comments last night: “It’s Councilmember Kualii!” Better yet, it was unanimous. Now that’s a positive thing, and I’m glad to see someone I voted for every time he ran finally in office. Congratulations, KipuKai!

Still, I have to question why the list of prospective candidates was kept secret. I mean, why shouldn’t we know that after all these years, Maxine Correa still has political aspirations?

Speaking of which, Deputy County Attorney Justin Kollar is preparing to run for Prosecutor, and rumor has it that Prosecutor Shaylene Iseri-Carvalho isn’t, but may run for Council instead. In case you’re not familiar with Justin, he’s among the growing legions of Shay’s disgruntled former deputies and one of those who, along with Shay, recently lobbied the Council to oppose the Legislature’s medical marijuana bills:

Deputy County Attorney Justin Kollar said “it is baffling and disheartening to see so much more effort being put into making more drugs available to more of our residents.”

What’s baffling and disheartening is how county employees — and attorneys at that — can engage in political lobbying during work hours with impunity.

It’s also baffling and disheartening to see how developers like Michele and Justin Hughes can, without the proper permits, make a very elaborate trail down to the beach and create high-end vacation rentals on ag land, then go in and seek after-the-fact permits even as they’re selling the land whose value was greatly enhanced by the illegal trail and TVRs.

Their devious deeds are being assisted by good old Neal Norman, who is sucking up large so he can market their high ticket properties. As his website announcing the sale gushingly notes:

"I am honored to be selected by Michele Hughes, to market in this unique way, the ultimate 'one of a kind' property. This is the quintessential opportunity for my valued clients/associates to obtain one of the finest and most coveted beachfront estates in Hawaii, lovingly created and nurtured with the meticulous and aesthetic attention to detail that is the signature of the owner and highly respected real estate developer, The Michele Hughes Company."


It goes on to say, for the benefit of the “selected clientele” to whom it’s being marketed (emphasis in the original):

Secret Beach, where miles of silky white sand meet outcroppings of primordial lava rock and the turquoise sea. Hiking, surfing, shelling, swimming and whale watching are yours privately and exclusively. Offered for the first time in its entirety, the 34 acre Secret Beach Hideaway estate includes six beach and bluff home sites, three guest home sites, and over 2/3 mile of sandy beach frontage. Accessed by three private gates on Kauapea Road—Kauai’s “ultimate address”—the three parcel estate offers breathtaking ocean and mountain views including legendary sunsets over Bali Hai, two exquisite guest homes, an office, an organic nursery, underground utilities, park-like acreage, ponds, waterfalls, and miles of beach trails.

What I find amusing is how the website for one of Michele’s vacation rentals states the land “is zoned agricultural but most of it is unsuitable for farming,” yet somehow they’ve managed to create “an organic nursery and park-like acreage.”

Which leads me to something else I found amusing, and that’s a comment left on the post about how Pierce Brosnan is planting up the beach in front of his Haena home:

Has anyone called Tim or Joann? Maybe they can help with an ordinance that would allow this behavior, like they did with the TVRs on ag lands. Then it wouldn't be an issue anymore.

Always good to remember to laugh.


Anonymous said...

Thanks for the post, Joan. I am sickened by what Michelle Hughes has done. She wants to steal our beaches and make it the properties's exclusive use? Geez. I don't think so. Those sites were supposed to be used for agriculture to feed the island. Instead, they have turned it into playthings for the rich. The powers that be should fine or condemn those properties and revert them to what they should have been in the first place i.e., farm land! Stop ripping us off, Michelle Hughes et al!

Anonymous said...

Pavillion passed. No precedent set.

Anonymous said...

A very interesting lest I say enlightening comment #37 left on your April 9 blog concerning Pierce Brosnan's property.

Anonymous said...

Some on the Council prattle on and on. Too bad it's mostly horn tooting bull or endless pontification. Do they ever stop to catch a breath?

Anonymous said...

Those properties pay the taxes that keep county employees working, supporting homes and families.