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?