Friday, May 18, 2012

Musings: Repair the Damage


It was so nice to wake to the sound of much-needed rain today. And so nice yesterday to see folks out picking flowers for graduation lei and parties, and to pass the bedsheets and other makeshift signs posted in high-visibility places and spray painted with congratulatory words to the class of 2012. Things like that set Kauai apart from other places.

I spent most of the day on the North Shore, where the weather was glorious and the trades were gusting and the sea was that amazing color of blue-green. Nearly as stunning was the intensity of tourism. I'm not kidding when I say the ratio of rental to local cars was easily 20-1. By 10 a.m., the overflow parking lot in Haena State Park was, well, overflowing and cars lined both sides of the road from Limahuli Garden to the end. It was hard to imagine how that many people could fit on Kee Beach, or envision the level of traffic on Hanakapiai Trail. I kept thinking, wow, the day is still young, and it's not even peak season.

I was also thinking of how the Hawaii Supreme Court said Ikaika Pratt couldn't exercise his traditional native rights to caretake Kalalau Valley because the state has to consider the greater good in regulating access. Problem is, the state doesn't regulate, and definitely not for the greater good. Just go to Haena State Park and you'll see it's effectively been handed over to the visitor industry.

Unfortunately, that's not the only example. A friend and I spent the better part of the day walking the spectacular shoreline between Hanalei Colony Resort and Cannons. As tour helicopters buzzed overhead and tour boats bounced along offshore, I documented one case after another of blatant, intentional plantings in front of oceanfront houses — most of them vacation rentals. In the process, great swaths of public beach have been privatized.

In one area, a public beach easement has been replaced with a wall, trash cans for the six adjacent vacation rentals and the increasingly common no trespassing, no parking, no more aloha signs.





As we passed house after house that sleeps 8 or 10 or 12 or 14, I thought, gee, add 'em all up and you've got a defacto 200-room hotel on one small stretch of beach — operating with none of the oversight and regulations that would govern such a facility.

We walked past attorney Terri Tico's oceanfront house, where some coconut palms were recently planted on the public beach, and I thought of her letter to the editor, in which she managed to plug her personal injury practice as heartily as the North Shore Path. She also falsely claimed that boondoggle project is an all-volunteer effort. Mmmm, except for coordinator Tommy Noyes and realtor/planner Ben Wellborn, who is being paid very well indeed with state Department of Health monies to come up with a “wtf?” plan — I mean “alternatives report” — that speaks of relocating taro loi in Hanalei and building cantilevers over streams alongside historic bridges.

Why should the public be paying to develop paths on Princeville land?” asked my friend, a North Shore resident who noted that people who live up there don't want their communities connected, especially not to Princeville. Besides, she said, there is no community left in Hanalei. It's full-on a resort town now.

And as she pointed out, even this level of tourism isn't enough. The state and county want to keep building tourism and encourage more growth in the visitor industry, with no thought to the cumulative impact on resources, communities and the local lifestyle.

But more important, at least to the state, the high court has affirmed that cultural practitioners will not be allowed to camp in Kalalau without competing with tourists for the proper permits. In the weird, warped mind of the state, it's OK to let tourism run amok on the beaches and trails, skies and sea. But God forbid the kanaka should even intermittently occupy their own lands in an attempt to repair the damage, restore the sacred.

33 comments:

Anonymous said...

You're part of 'Merica now...get used to it, cause it ain't ever going to change.

KamaKele said...

lol @ anonymous.

We could get used to it like you say, or we could hold on to our anger and our justified resentment and let it continue to fuel our fight because the sooner we "get used to it" like so many of our youth are doing, the sooner we lose.

Your suggestion might be easier, but mine is just.

KamaKele said...

What we have to do to preserve our Island and our culture is continue to press the issue, both in the courts and in the public. Fight for your native rights, fight for beach access, push to have transient vaction rental violations PROSECUTED. Pressure your councilmen to ensure that the rights of tourists do not cross the line and infringe upon the rights of residents. Make sure they have their priorities straight about who they represent.

Anonymous said...

Don't think so, my friend. As the songs go: I never had an Uncle named Sam and the times they are a'changing! Welcome the evolution..... Get used to it.

Anonymous said...

"I never had an Uncle named Sam"

If you're going to quote Sudden Rush, don't distort the meaning. Those lyrics have NOTHING to do with "get used to it."

Anonymous said...

I cannot even tell from the pictures that there is any easement! I know that is your point, but seriously how do we get this taken care of?

Anybody?.....?

Anonymous said...

Simple. Hop the wall. When someone comes out actin all pissed off, give them the finger. If you get arrested, assert an easement defense. When you get acquitted, sue for wrongful arrest and for a court order enjoining the property owners from obstructing the easement. Make lots of money and become local hero.

Anonymous said...

Much needs to be learned about Ben Wellborn. BTW nothing says a non-profit cannot make as much money as a for profit firm. He is a realtor. How much money do you think he will make off all the easements being taken by this bike path? He will probably be the agent for most or all of the transactions. And why is he on the state Na Ala Hele Trail Advisory Council? That is a volunteer group to GAIN and maintain public trails. Ask him why he fenced off the ala loa trail from Moloaa for Patricia Hanwright. Ever wonder why you can't walk the trail past there? Ask Wellborn why.

Anonymous said...

I read the NS path plan expecting to support it, cause i would like a bike path, but this plan Ben came up with, i can't support. It's crazy.
The realtors love it. Princeville already has a path, why should we pay for it to be widened, and the continued upkeep? Why go through the taro loi's? Why ruin Hawaii's culture? The plan actually calls for blocking our views to the taro loi, and only the bikepath will have views. Oh i forgot, they just wanna move the taro. Do they not know that Koloa Ducks leave whenever people are around?
And Miss Terri's Who could possibly be against a bike path? Maybe it should traverse in front of her house. Let's not forget she is best friends with Roberta Haas,who sold most of the north shore , Ben's Mother in Law.

Anonymous said...

Is the path a county project or private project? Did the county hire Ben? Did Thomas Noyes hire Ben?How much is the contract for? Was it put out to bid?After the developers consultant writes the plan, does the county and feds pay for it?

Anonymous said...

America: leave us. So we can love you. From afar.

Anonymous said...

Like that's going to happen.

We're here...we're in charge...adapt or GTFO.

Uncle Sam (MY Uncle Sam)isn't doesn't give back his toys.

Anonymous said...

Adapt to what? Toys? Are you kidding? Dude, your real uncle is probably cross dressing in LA.

Anonymous said...

"your're part of 'Merica now...get used to it, cause it ain;t ever going to change"

...said like a good "sheeple" brainwashed by our governments smoke and mirrors

That's what the Romans said, and also the USSR. Many civilizations have attained dominance and then crumbled.
The USA is next. With all the discontent, political and moral corruption in our government....the end is near. Have patience.

Push people to the brink of loss of freedom, respect,land and culture, and they will rebel.

Remember the Hungar Games..its coming soon to our reality.

Anonymous said...

Nice post.
It is very sad to see Ha'ena State Park become such a commercial zoo. Dozens of Kayaks leave everyday, boats picking up illegal Kalalau drop offs, and the Hawaiians from in that area get no part. They end up robbing the lunch wagon.
Helicopters are gnarly, but the boating is way less than in the late 80's thanks to a few good people.
I would look to other sources in reference to Hanalei, She must have never been to Grandpas beach on any sunset. There is a wonderful community of residence that live and love Hanalei. They are not FROM Hanalei but now their kids are in their late teens and grew up in Hanalei, born and raised, and proud.
Yes many questions regarding Ben and path, like the money. It is still a little hard to listen to Rodney as he gives his sad story about his Taro fields... full of GMO taro and Micronesian work force.

Anonymous said...

Kamakele. How can you support Hawaiian rights and the kauai prosecutor at the same time? She turns the screws into Hawaiians every time they raise the issue.

Anonymous said...

NO BIKE PATH on the NORTH SHORE! North Shore residents (the few of us, are united)will fight this till the end...its a NO GO Ben!!

Anonymous said...

Good there are only a few of you.

A bike path on the North Sore to help PRESERVE access.

It is quite amusing that one part reads give us access and the other but I don't want it that way.

Anonymous said...

bike path is hyper access, through places that never had a tourist there before, such as the plan to run the path throught he taro fields, with the friggin nerve to say they'll just move the taro to accommadate the path. That's different than access to the beach

Anonymous said...

You are all slow

2003

http://hawaii.gov/dot/highways/Bike/Bike%20Plan

http://participedia.net/cases/bike-plan-hawaii-hawaii

KamaKele said...

Because I was here when the first bike path in Kapaa was being proposed, and I know who fought for it and who stood against it. Might be surprising to you but Shaylene fought against it and lost to the people that actually do sell out our island to the mainland every chance they get.

Name me one local Hawaiian political enemy of Shay. You won't find one. Replacing her with Justin Koller's just going to grease the wheels that Mayor Carvalho and Al Castillo are riding on. I don't want that and I don't care bout the rest.

KamaKele said...

http://thegardenisland.com/news/local/bike-path-price-shocks-council/article_122d4c38-9d71-11e0-af53-001cc4c03286.html?mode=comments

There they are.

Anonymous said...

"Name me one local Hawaiian political enemy of Shay. "

The Mayor, Mauna Kea

Anonymous said...

Original bike path-1978. How old was Shayme?

KamaKele said...

I know Mauna Kea. He's no enemy of Shay.

The Mayor. lol. If America gave Hawaii it lands back, said "i'm so sorry, we took what was not ours. All Americans not of Hawaiian descent must leave the islands. Hawaii you are free to re-form your government as you see fit," Mayor Carvalho would do everything he could to become King Carvalho. Only problem, all of his friends and supporters would BE GONE because they're white or hapa japanese.

Anonymous said...

KamaKele: Let's meet tomorrow. Tracy Murakami

Anonymous said...

Mauna Kea has been holding sign for Justin Kollar.

Anonymous said...

Remember when you would be leery when Kauai appeared in any national magazine? It's almost comical in the "information age".

Anonymous said...

Kamakele wants to make the prosecutor's election about race. He can't discuss Shay's criminal behavior because it doesn't interest him. Baaa, baaa, baaa. Bawk bawk bawk.

Anonymous said...

If MK WAS NO ENEMY of Dhaymel then why did he quit?

Anonymous said...

Tracy did the right thing - she was threatened by Shaymeline and chose the high road.

How many years did she work in that office before crazy pants was s"elected"?

Anonymous said...

Kamamele is Shaymeline - you know a combination of two of our favorite elected officials. No one else would defend the actions of those two - seemingly incompentant people.

Shayme record alone speaks LOUD and CLEAR...opps.

Anonymous said...

Tracy worked at the Prosecutor's office for more than 8 years.