I had seen other sparkles, hours before, when Koko had to go out at 1:30 p.m. My yawns quickly turned to exclamations of amazement at the blackness of the sky and brilliant clarity of the stars, which seemed almost close enough to touch in the darkness of this new moon, when the fledging Newell's shearwaters are most vulnerable to artificial lights.
So I can't understand how it is that crews are allowed to continue doing brightly-lit night work to install a water line in Wailua, a major shearwater flyway, at the peak of the fledging season.
Meanwhile, the notice sent out for Wednesday night's meeting on the big water drilling plan advised folks to bring flashlights as the lights at King K School would be turned off to protect shearwaters. Go figure.....
I went to the Seed and Plant Exchange yesterday, an event I've never attended, but did this year to staff the Kauai Beekeepers Association booth, since organic gardening is a natural complement to healthy bees. It was neat to see people all excited about seeds and plants. A few of the Hindu monks showed up — they've been big supporters of the Regenerations Botanical Garden and seed bank — and Palaniswami commented that the monastery is now growing 80 percent of its food.
Later, I got to talking with a friend, about how it's really not so far-fetched to think we can do a lot more to feed ourselves. The monks, who number 22, produce the bulk of what they eat, and they're not out there slaving in the fields all day, every day. They manage to pull it off while still holding down the equivalent of what we would consider full time jobs, while also maintaining the buildings and extensive grounds. Not to mention devoting hours to devotion.
So despite what we're repeatedly told by the folks who want to use the island's ag lands for GMO crops, biofuels and gentleman's estates, while keeping us dependent on Costco, another way is possible — one backyard, one community garden, at a time.
Moving into a related land use issue, County Council candidate Gary Hooser had an interesting commentary in yesterday's paper about the metamorphosis of the bill that created the Public Land Development Corp. (PLDC), with its far-reaching powers to privatize the so-called “ceded lands” now held by the state.
It outlines so clearly the corruption in the state Legislature, which exempts itself from the Sunshine Law precisely so it can ram stuff like this through with minimal public input. The PLDC is the tumor that is representative of a much deeper cancer in our state government. Repealing Act 55 — the PLDC — is just one step. What we really need to do is cure the systemic illness.
So is that gonna happen? Well, some people are organizing, and speaking up, and Hawaiians, environmentalists and unions are finding common ground in this issue. Still, I cringe when I read a paragraph like this in an email regarding the “action plan” for coordinating the repeal of Act 55:
Once again, there is an attempt at a Great Land Grab, and once again our hosts, the Hawaiian People, who are least familiar with our distorted laws, corruptions and backroom deals, as well as our electronic communication/media, are likely to get ripped off. We cannot let this happen again.
Umm, I think the kanaka maoli are probably more familiar with our distorted laws, corruptions, backroom deals and land grabs than any of us, seeing as how their entire nation was stolen. And really, can't we abandon that "poor ignorant natives" mentality?
I've also been amused to see politicians making big political hay. Foremost among them are former DLNR Director and state Senate candidate Laura Thielen, who has conveniently forgotten the Kokee hotel and park fees she and the Lingle Administration tried to force on us. And Councilman Mel Rapozo got his name circulating among progressives who normally would hold their noses, given his support for GMOs, opposition to solar hot water and coziness with Grove Farm, by telling them he might be able to convince the Hawaii State Assn. of Counties he chairs to support a repeal of Act 55 if he received a “few hundred emails."
Meanwhile, our state representatives, the ones who voted unanimously to support the PLDC, the ones who have shown themselves to be good little sheep, have absolutely no incentive to buck the Guv and leadership of their respective chambers because they're all assured of re-election, and not just this year, but probably for as long as they want to run.
And I am reminded again of how we the people can rail all we like against injustices and corruption, but aside from winning a pyrrhic victory here and there, nothing's really going to change until we upend the system that is designed to perpetuate the actions we find so repugnant. Personally, I'm tired of continually fighting over the rules that govern this insane asylum. It's time to free ourselves, and move beyond the walls that needlessly confine us.