Sunday, May 18, 2008

Musings: Pathogens

Clouds joined the haze in dimming the morning sky, but Koko and I headed for the beach, anyway, where the sun rose in a wash of rosy color that reflected upon a reef exposed by a dropping tide and water so placid that it more closely resembled a reservoir than the ocean.

No one was around, which is just the way I like it, and we stayed until I was dry and Koko had wearied of chasing crabs and digging holes in the fresh-washed sand. Returning home, it was my turn to dig for a while to accommodate more taro, until heat and hunger drove me indoors.

Browsing through today's on-line edition of The Garen Island, I read an account of Wednesday’s County Council hearing on proposed ordinances to allow dogs on the revered coastal path.

I found one provision of the proposed ordinance, which would require persons walking their dogs to carry a bag to pick up Fido’s doodoo, rather amusing. So what, now the cops can approach and demand to see your bag? How do you know they’re not just shaking you down for pakalolo? And what if you’ve already used it? How many bags are you supposed to carry? Do you have to hang on to the evidence?

While I understand the desirability of keeping the shining path free of kukae, this is the sort of the thing that can turn into an enforcement nightmare, the cost of which, coupled with the allegedly higher maintenance fees that would be associated with allowing dogs to walk there, are the basis for Councilman Mel Rapozo’s opposition to the bill, as outlined on his blog.

Both he and Andy Parx remarkably see eye to eye on the point that the path was originally funded by the feds for transportation purposes, and so should be limited to bicycles only.

Still, Councilman Tim Bynum makes a good point in saying: “What is transportation? Anytime anyone moves from Point A to Point B.”

And if the path is just for transportation, then how come it came with all those little huts along the beach? Sure looks like a recreational use to me.

Andy Parx also reported that Councilwoman Shaylene Iseri-Carvalho, who is running for prosecutor, had a letter to the editor that stated: “I’m sure the rest of the community would take offense if I decided unilaterally to pick and choose which laws I wanted to enforce or not.”

Which made me wonder, so how come Shaylene has never pushed to enforce the farm dwelling agreement? You know, the law that requires people who build homes on agricultural lands to actually engage in farming.

I also wondered why it took The Garden Island so long to run the story. It’s not, after all, like there’s tons of breaking news to crowd it off the front page. Even though Police Chief Darryl Perry continues to assert, in his quest to justify the procurement of Tasers, that Kauai isn’t a sleepy little place anymore, you wouldn’t know it from reading the local paper.

Am I missing something, or is The Garden Island? Or is the Chief just adhering to the Boy Scouts “be prepared” mantra? Kinda like when he reportedly dispatched 20 Kaua‘i police officers, including K-9 dogs, and 12 DOCARE officers to close Black Pot Park?

I’ve got an idea. Maybe the Council and KPD could work together on this one, and any cops caught misbehaving or misusing their Tasers could be assigned to doggie doodoo enforcement duty. Surely that would get them on the right path.


Anonymous said...

How is it any more of an enforcement nightmare than a seatbelt law? Obviously the cops don't have to approach everyone and ask to see their bag. But if they see someone's dog crapping on the walk and there's no bag...a fine! Yay.

Larry said...

You mentioned the magic word, "enforcement." Over here on Oahu people are literally dying in the crosswalks because the Honolulu Police Dept won't enforce the traffic laws. And Gov. Lingle just wrote some kind of note to the Legislature (I haven't seen it yet) that despite an override of her veto of HB7, a prescription drug law, she has no intention of enforcing it. Something like Bush's signing statement, I guess.

The doodoo problem would be just one more in a long list of laws I'm sure Kauai has that are also not being enforced.

There oughta be a law.

Anonymous said...

For libs, gov't involvment = good, except when it infringes on something that inconveniences them, in which case then gov't involvement = bad.

Anonymous said...

Enforcement would be if a cop sees a dog crapping on the path and the cop writes the person holding the leash a ticket. Enforcement doesn't mean checking everyone for crap bags. Fear not, Larry, I'm sure the law will be enforced.

Anonymous said...

I thought Shaylene's letter was really wierd when she seemed to think a group too snooty to want a community pathway past their neighborhood ought to get to veto it. I'm sorry. The community says we want a path around the island. You don't get to be so high falutin that you can tell us to go screw ourselves cause you're too special to have a path go by your beach.

Anonymous said...

"The community says we want a path around the island."

it did? when was that?

Anonymous said...

There was a man who got pulled over on his way to Hanalei. When the officer approached the car he furiously stated, "What brah!!! Why you pull me ovah? You nevah see all da other cars? Deh waz going da same speed as me!!!." To which the officer asked, "Eh brah, you eva been fishing?" The agitated speeder responded, "Of Course i've been fishing!" To which the officer calmly asked, "You ever catch all the fish in the sea?"

Pete Antonson said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Pete Antonson said...

Dr. Rhoades letter to TGI today effectively shoots Mel's argument right through the heart.
Particularly the liability portion.

Anonymous said...

Taser those dog owners who don't clean up after their dogs.

Anonymous said...

But both Andy and Rapozo are just flat wrong. Their idea that the bike path is primarily meant for transportation is not born out by any plain reading of the DOT and NHWA websites.

These sorts of projects only require the most tenuous links to transportation to fit within the regs.