Showers continue to provide welcome bookends to each day, keeping everything fresh and green and delighting my senses as I watch, feel and listen from the screened lanai that makes my house a treasure. A large flock of tiny nutmeg mannikins has taken to roosting in the bamboo, creating a flurry of sound each morning and night, and the shama thrush regale me with song and sometimes land on the sill, looking in through the screen and squeaking.
I went to the KIUC website last night and cast my ballot, which was not a swift process and left me wondering about the secrecy, not that I care if anyone knows I voted no, and not because I’m opposed to hydro, but because I think “smarmy” is spelled FFP-FERC. And seeing as how it was all orchestrated by investment banker Bill Collett, who helped us pay way too much for Kauai Electric, isn’t reassuring.
Mostly, I wondered how many ballots ended up in the trash, and about the political backstory and arm-twisting that resulted in DLNR releasing its 11th-hour statement in support of the preliminary permits. As if DLNR has any credibility as a vigilant steward of Hawaii’s natural resources.
Speaking of which, I got a survey in the mail from a graduate student at UH who is trying to determine “how many wild animals would you like to see or hear in your neighborhood?” Glancing through, I saw it was entirely about the kind of wild animals you don’t want in your neighborhood, like cats, pigs, mouflon sheep, black rats, coqui frogs and zebra doves.
It says the results likely will influence future management plans “so that wild animals are managed in a more socially acceptable and efficient manner.” It doesn’t mention anything about politics, which pretty drives wildlife management in this state.
Meanwhile, Councilman Mel Rapozo has been conducting his own informal Facebook survey about a proposal to allow camping at Lydgate Park. The bill, which Councilwoman JoAnn Yukimura amended to include a $5 per day fee for Hawaii residents ($75 for group camping), goes back to the Finance/Parks & Recreation/Public Works Program Committee on July 13.
When I first saw it, I thought, wow, how great that the Council is providing more accommodations for the homeless. But while that’s the likely result — just look at Hanamaulu, Salt Pond and Anini — I don’t think that’s the intent. Mostly, I thought of what it would be like to pack a couple hundred more people into the area by the bridge, which is now the only relatively peaceful place in that crowded, heavily used park.
I don’t often go to Lydgate, because who wants to swim in sewage effluent or those suntan oil-slicked ponds? But I have been known to enjoy a picnic at one of the proposed campsites, and I see a lot of families hosting cookouts and parties there during the day, a use that would be eliminated if camping is allowed.
And who is going to make sure it doesn’t deteriorate like the other sleep-over parks? The cops have their own priorities, like handing out tickets for using a cell phone while driving. Does anyone else see the irony in a law intended to reduce driving distractions that has resulted, according to KPD Lt. Mark Scribner, in “people being more distracted because they’re trying to hide their cell phones and their texting devices?” Frankly, I'd feel a lot safer if they focused on bringing the island's women-killers to justice.
But I imagine the tourists, at least the unsuspecting ones, will enjoy the prospect of camping at Lydgate. That makes me think of an email I got from a friend who lived for many years on Kauai before moving to the Midwest:
Oh yeah, had dentist appt. and the hygenist was telling me they went to Kauai - not sure when - had Kona winds. She said overall they were disappointed, because it cost so much to get there, traffic was bad, and said all the development wasn't pretty. I asked if she got to the North Shore and she said they tried, but didn't want to sit in traffic and other tourists told them it was too congested at the end of the road. Wow. She said it was weird to see the big houses and then all the poorer people and thought it would be more 'Hawaiian'. She said people don't seem to want tourists there. I asked if she would go back and she said, no, they could go somewhere else closer cheaper. My dentist on the other hand, likes Kauai, but he is rich and stays at the resorts or someone's ritzy house..... interesting the perspectives.
As for different perspectives, and the loss of the "Hawaiian" element that makes Hawaii distinct, I got this email report from Hawaiian National Pilipo Souza, who yesterday protested the signing of SB 1520, which I addressed in Tuesday’s post:
We had about 50 people show at the signing of the SB1520, "Surrender of the Hawaiian Nation." We were there at 1:30 to 3:30. And they know we Hawaiian Nationals have not surrendered!
Most of the Invitation only participants were of course the Legislators, appointed/elected officials, The Royals, Kamehameha/ Ka'ahumanu, Hawaiian Civic Clubs (no Kalei Ma'ile /Queen Emma)
As the guest dispersed at 3:15, I noticed the solemn faces of the attendees. They looked more shamed than cheerful. Very similar to the Japanese Diplomats who signed the "Terms of Surrender" on the U.S.S. Missouri (Mighty Mo) in 1945.
Yeah, selling out is always a dirty, shameful business.