Monday, May 21, 2012

Musings: Strange World, Kauai Style


Koko, Paele and I caught the sunrise on the Giant (Nounou) this morning, and what a sweet dawn it was. I love these long days, where you can play outside for a couple of hours and be back home by the time some folks are crawling out of bed. And it makes the dogs really happy, which is all that matters, right?

For some people, money matters most. I had a couple of readers send in links to articles about the antics of Kauai's richest denizens, including the Russian billionaire and fertilizer king Dmitri Rybolovlev, who bought Will Smith's house in Kilauea. Seems a process server caught up with him on the tarmac at Lihue Airport last week just as Rybolovlev helicoptered in from the house and was walking up the steps to his personal 737 Airbus.

Cuz you know, you wouldn't want to have to drive all the way down from Kilauea — especially when cops are manning a speed trap in the construction zone near Kealia Kai, even though it's a Sunday and there's no work or hazards in evidence. What's up with that? And during police appreciation week no less.  Are they just testing our blind obedience to authority? 

Meanwhile, developer Michele Hughes is making a mockery of the county and state by using her ag land vacation rental permits and after-the-fact approval for an illegal trail as selling points for two “luxury villas” — oops, I mean farm dwellings — with “exclusive Kauapea Road addresses” in Kilauea. As the advertorial in the Wall Street Journal notes:

Originally listed for $8.5M each, the 5.325 and 5.03-acre bluff estates at 2884 and 2908 Kauapea Road are privately gated and surrounded by manicured lawns and tropical gardens, and the 24-acre parcel known as Lot 36 spans the oceanfront area of the site. Panoramic views of fertile mountains, lush valleys and turquoise Pacific waters extend for miles. While the bluff properties feature luxury villas Hale Nanea ("Home of Joy and Tranquility") and Hale Lani ("Heavenly Home"), both of which include a vacation rental permit, each also allows for the construction of two new residences and has perpetual pedestrian easements to Secret Beach - perfect for snorkeling, swimming, beachcombing, windsurfing, stand-up paddling, fishing and kayaking. The oceanfront site spans 2/3rds of a mile along Secret Beach and also allows for two new residences and a guest home.

"These properties are the crown jewels of an originally-40-acre Secret Beach oceanfront parcel that I have been blessed to nurture and develop over the past thirty years. Existing in support of the native surroundings, they beckon the construction of up to six new estate residences," stated Michele Hughes, CEO of The Michele Hughes Company. "I am excited to work again with Concierge Auctions and to find owners who will cherish these properties and enjoy the Island lifestyle they so ideally enable."

Gag..... She's just anxious to find owners period, which is why she's conducting a fire sale, I mean auction, with bidders allowed to name the price - one without reserve.

Back in the real world, on the other side of the island, Koloa Camp folks conducted a wake for their community yesterday. Yeah, gotta get rid of that truly affordable housing, cuz those old plantation shacks might offend the “luxury travelers and A-list celebrities” that Michele Hughes and Kukuiula cater to.

Speaking of A-list celebs, Julia Roberts has also gotten into the act of landscaping the beach. A recent visit to the beach that fronts her remodeled hale in Haena found the usual new plantings of naupaka and spider lilies. The vegetation in front of Pierce Brosnan's place is also flourishing. Amazing how chicken manure and irrigation aid the workings of nature. All these vegetation is on public beach.


But DLNR can't get out there and enforce because it's too busy looking for the 3,000 trout that went missing from their holding pens at Pu‘u Lua Reservoir at Koke‘e. Forgetting, for a moment, the questions of why the state continues to trade in alien species and charge taxpayers tens of thousands of dollars for a recreational activity enjoyed by relatively few, how come the state is only now asking for tips when the theft was reported to the cops back on March 28? I mean, how many people can remember whether they saw someone by the reservoir six weeks ago?

I forwarded the press release to a friend, who quipped:

Was the taking of the 3000 fish an act of ecoterroism? Someone who is fed up with DLNR not protecting natural resources  but rather trying to exploit it for the good of sports enthusiasts and tourist?
Or was it PASH activists taking  food that is rightfully theirs?
Someone upset that some huge amount of money ($50,000) was pent on fun instead of natural resource protection?
What about $7 million to ship nene to Maui?

Or as another friend noted when forwarding an email about the KIUC smart meter technician who supposedly forced the device on a Kapahi family adamantly opposed to its installation:

What a strange world we live in……
Love it or leave it?

36 comments:

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the info Joan, keep it up.

KamaKele said...

That shit is so wrong. Artificially extending the vegetation line. It's okay though...one good wave will undo all their work, i hope.

Anonymous said...

You are an angry woman Joan.

donna said...

Sad to see Kauai spoiled (even more) by the rich. We'll be there in July and I really hope our favorite spots are not too spoiled.. very sad to hear about the camp. So hard for the locals when all that money is moving in (again)...

Anonymous said...

how was that parcel of land NOT part of a larger development - as it has no other development - it must be a part of some other development - primarily the vacation rentals.

Anonymous said...

So when someone just writes about what they see, they're angry now?

I've always found it interesting how a state that claims to be democratic is very moderate and frowns upon activism.

Anonymous said...

Let's be calm. It's Julia, for cryin' out loud. She was on more magazine covers than just about any star you can name.

Anonymous said...

Joan,
Do you or Karen have jobs? It seems you two walk around a lot, hike and poke your noses around more than anyone could possibly do in one day. This would lead me to believe that neither one of you actually work.

Signed,

Just curious

Anonymous said...

Joan....always looking for the Truth....
.... where it can hurt you.

.......or uncovering the source of the "smell" that has been lingering like a dead rat in Paradise

Dr Shibai

Anonymous said...

All these foreigners (dare I say true Haole) make me want to puke especially that Michele Hughes. Stop faking farms and stop stealing our beaches!

Anonymous said...

Thank you Joan for your good work. I thank for you the pictures as pictures do not lie. I wish these government agencies would step up to the plate do there jobs. I know they are important things that they are tending too but for us local people to start losing our beaches to these people who want to take more of the land is not acceptable.

Anonymous said...

Justice for the people of Kauai: Joan of Arc

Anonymous said...

wouldn't it be neat to see to see these issues of the celebs like Julia, Pierce and others stealing, encroaching onto public beaches in cheesey and nefarious ways to expand their already lucrative land holdings at the expense of the public and the ever diminishing resources hit the mainland tabloid and mainstream media?

Anonymous said...

Joan: Leave the Light On

Anonymous said...

Financially it wouldn't have any benefits for the good ol boys so you can cancel that prescription.

Anonymous said...

How come nobody╩╗s asking which DLNR officer made the deal and opened the fishy gate?

Too bad we now have Russian criminals on Kauai.

Anonymous said...

"Justice for the people of Kauai: Joan of Arc"

She got burned at the stake.

Shoot the messenger.

"There's no 'I' in 'Team'....and there's no 'F' in 'Way'"

Anonymous said...

Maybe, if all the rich folks "unionized", they could offer to buy Kauai from the state, thus helping solve so many other state problems that require money.

Or, become a somewhat open-ended trust (allowing other select rich members in by vote of existing trustees) acquiring 100% of Kauai's land in a leasehold sort of way from the state, say, for 200 years.

Kauai...the next Niihau, but only for rich people.

I'd like that. I could buy in...not huge, but "Bresca" style.

Anonymous said...

Mr. Rybolovev was accused of murdering a fellow businessman and spent close to a year in prison.

Anonymous said...

Elect real people, not your cousin because they guarantee you a job - look at the latest county girlfriend hire.

Enough, put educated, honest people in office and in power Bernard, we are all watching and just because we are blood doesn't mean I will vote for you again.

Anonymous said...

Shape up or we the people will ship your lying, deceiving asses out of office and off our tax roll.

Anonymous said...

A long time age a friend said to me "either you are going to own the boat or be the person cleaning it".
Sadly this is Kaua`i. And too many people are content with things being that way.

Anonymous said...

Just a note regarding the comment about "Haoles" - it's not us Haoles that are voting in the corrupt locals who hire unqualified relatives and other corrupt friends. A few rich "foreigner" Haoles are shit, yes, but the vast vast majority of us are here because we love Kauai - and we have sacrificed a LOT to live here, compared to just being born here by chance. If Haoles were not marginalized by the plantation thinking of most locals, we'd participate more in politics and elect competent, qualified people.

Anonymous said...

joan kicks butt

Anonymous said...

"If Haoles were not marginalized by the plantation thinking of most locals, we'd participate more in politics and elect competent, qualified people."

Like Kama Kele, but white. You racists deserve each other.

Anonymous said...

I agree majority of us locals are too stupid to realize wtf is really going or know something and will keep quiet. F em all, it doesnt matter what race or ethnc background(s) you are from, what really matters is the content of ones character.

Dawson said...

"If Haoles were not marginalized by the plantation thinking of most locals, we'd participate more in politics and elect competent, qualified people."

Right. Like the competent, qualified people who are elected on the mainland.

Anonymous said...

"Just a note regarding the comment about "Haoles" - it's not us Haoles that are voting in the corrupt locals who hire unqualified relatives and other corrupt friends. A few rich "foreigner" Haoles are shit, yes, but the vast vast majority of us are here because we love Kauai - and we have sacrificed a LOT to live here, compared to just being born here by chance. If Haoles were not marginalized by the plantation thinking of most locals, we'd participate more in politics and elect competent, qualified people."

The above took a lot of guts to say and I am in agreement with it.

Anonymous said...

Just as many nitwit politicos no matter where you go. Seems to me ,soon anything north of Kilauea will be turning into a giant gated community for Rodney rich guy. Where is the accountability? Maybe there needs to be a big weeding party on the beach to take it back.

Anonymous said...

WTF comments have to pass the smell test before being posted? Words are now being investigated

Joan Conrow said...

Relax. Comment moderation is only on for posts over six days old to control spam.

Anonymous said...

watch out our King is at it again. This time promising money to organizations that shouldn't be funded by the County.

Procurement law - whatever - King B spends it the way he sees fit on his favored peoples.

Would you like a list?

Anonymous said...

Yes

Anonymous said...

Ok ty, i thought communist china had taken notice of how easy kauai is or is it just TGI is really a shit paper. Russia and the mexican mafia as well as a host of cali and oahu drug cartels has. Joan keep up the good work, island breath is going strong, andy has semi retired on us or someone spooked him.

Anonymous said...

Where's the list?

Anonymous said...

happened upon your blog...oahuans dealt with new comers to Kailua decades ago, they'd irrigate the sand 24/7 to help some exotic vine, not naupaka, to grow as if the new growth was their land. Nothing beats a convert community erradication when authorities care less. Same soulless new comers would bring their aspen/palm desert/Floridian attitudes of belligerent self importance in trying to keep state owned shoreline beaches in front of their homes as Private beaches! Same here on Kauai with Ms. Hughes always wanting Kauapea beach to be here happy private place...LOVE the auction process with the "no reserve" fucking corrupt..with the shills in the audience, other realtor donkeys paid to be keep the price where is has to be...there is no low ball price even if these greedy humans are totally upside down underwater...could go on and on... i HAVE a job and am always in the flow of this gorgeous home i was born in. a hui ho