Thursday, June 2, 2011

Musings: Just Thinking

Today, when the dogs and I were out walking, watching the world awaken, the clouds in the west an exquisite shade of lavender, the sky stained with thin, salmon-colored streaks, a towering, gilded cumulus rising like a cathedral out of a burst of reddish gold, they were sniffing — dead toads, other dogs markings, what have you — and I was thinking, about a number of things.

Like one person’s comment yesterday about the shorter lives of our pre-agrarian ancestors, which is true, but how many people today really live their longer lives? And how many actually have reached the end of their natural lives, yet through extraordinary measures are kept alive, though they are not, in any real sense of the world, living?

I thought about the new Wailua bridge, which I have crossed twice now in pau hana traffic, and seen no noticeable improvement; the cars waiting to turn onto Kuamoo Road are still stacked up, jamming up the mauka lane, just like before, only now you can’t see the mountains or the river through the guardrails. And I thought of how the DOT now is saying, oh, you gotta wait until we finish the second phase of the project — widening the roadway from Kuamoo Road to the Kapaa Bypass Road (and here I thought about the exquisite double rainbow I saw there the other day) — before you see any real relief, but it’s not gonna start until next year.

And how it’s always the next fix that’s gonna fix everything, but in the meantime, more traffic has been added to the roads, and so it never does. And doesn’t that seem to be the way of things?

I thought of the comment made by Jay Manzano, president of Unlimited Construction, about how the project put people to work so they could pay the rent and buy food, which is no small thing, but what would have happened if that $29 million would’ve been divvied up among those who need it rather than spent widening a bridge?

And I thought of how they named the bridge after the late Bryan Baptiste, but what kind of legacy, really, is it to add a lane to a cane haul bridge? And then there was all the hoopla about how he was a person who built bridges that brought people together, like none of them had ever seen the protestors at the job site or heard the anguished cries of Hawaiians over iwi kupuna, the desecration of sacred Wailua.

I thought of how blogger Andy Parx finally wrote something negative about Councilman Tim Bynum, though he never went so far as to actually mention him by name, when he noted, in a post about how the proposed new Council rules stymie public participation and communication, that not one member had taken steps to allow the public an opportunity to address matters that we deem important.

Which should lay to rest once and for all the myth that Tim -- or rules committee chair JoAnn Yukimura, for that matter -- is any sort of open-government, accountable, transparent to the public kind of guy.

And I thought of how now the county is going to have to dig up the bike path to fix the seawall at Pono Kai, which they should’ve repaired before they built the path, but didn’t, and how they’re going to start the work in the winter, which is when the storm surf that caused the erosion in the first place is most likely to occur. And I wondered how many times they’re going to have to keep repeating that scenario as rising sea levels and increased storms bring more coastal erosion.

But never mind, because according to JoAnn, “Everywhere you look when you’re on the path people are happy.”

Later, on my way into work, I thought of how the county supposedly has only 10 cops on duty at any one time, yet three were on the bypass road, four were on the Wailua bridge and another was at the Hanamaulu junction.

And I could only think, WTF?


Anonymous said...

I cringe every time I go over that bridge mainly for the stupidity of the design. Something I will have to get over as it will probably be the bridge I'm forced to use for the rest of my days.

Am I the only one that thinks they should have just widened the main bridge so people can go straight vs. hard right, hard left when heading north? The cane bridge could have been converted easily to the bike/walk bridge and removed people from the noise & exhaust.

too late now

Anonymous said...

The council, Tim included, is a huge disappointment on open government. Gary Hooser is where he is because he championed open government. Mel has been brave on other issues, but why isn't he clamoring to make everything public. How do they forget that this is OUR government. Agendas should be posted on line. Every dollar spent should be on line and known to us. The limited reasons for executive session should be strictly construed. Hooser voted against going into executive session most of the time.
Keeping things non-public is the refuge of insecure politicians.

Anonymous said...

The hub of the wheel of systemic environmental degradation is human overpopulation.

The good news is that nearly all of our major problems could be solved in a single generation.

The bad news is there's no indication that humans are willing to change their habits & behavior even in the face of mass starvation.

"You must be the change you wish to see in the world." ~Mahatma Ghandi

Anonymous said...

What the FERC?

Anonymous said...

I am so glad you are not a planner. 'mmm, seems to me...' you use your lack of data or information to make uninformed declarations.

keep it up.

Anonymous said...

Public comment? By the same people who have nothing better to do with their lives but attend Council meetings? Or by by Andy, who's been living on the dole since he's been on Kauai? Right. That will make a huge difference.