Beauty was the keyword this morning.
It started about 4:30, when Koko and I went out beneath a brilliant canopy of stars. Jupiter was holding court in the southwest, while Pleides (Makalii) was rising in the east. And in between were billions of stars, formed into constellations I didn’t know. It was utterly quiet, save for the bullfrog symphony, and the air was delightfully cool.
About an hour later, as the sky was just beginning to brighten, a rain came through and soaked everything real good and then the sun came up in a fiery blaze of red that turned all that moisture-laden air into a magical shimmer world of rosy color, and pink clouds slid lazily down the face of Waialeale.
Two encounters like those, before 6 a.m., provide enough sustenance to carry me through the day, although I’m sure nature still has some gorgeous surprises in store for me.
Not so surprising were the two lead articles in today’s Garden Island: Kaipo Asing was chosen mayor and the cops can’t stop Joe Brescia from building on top of the Naue burials.
More interesting than Kaipo getting the mayor’s post, as was widely expected, were JoAnn Yukimura and Mel Rapozo immediately announcing their own candidacies for mayor in the upcoming special election.
I was surprised that Mel thinks he’s qualified for the job and has a chance at winning. I was less surprised that JoAnn is once again trying for a post she lost the last go-round. It's unfortunate she got off on the wrong foot by having to apologize for pressing Kaipo for a promise that he wouldn’t run for mayor. Feeling a little insecure, JoAnn?
JoAnn can likely beat Mel, but I think Kaipo could beat both of them. And don’t be thinking that old Kaipo isn’t considering a longer run, even though he’s already filed for Council, or that people won’t be inclined to give it to him. Aside from totally selling out to the other Council members some years back in order to develop his Niumalu property after the planning commission said no, he has a lot less baggage than JoAnn, who provokes deep loathing in many people, and Mel, who has the Fanta-See Express scandal lurking in his closet.
I found it quite fascinating that the Garden Island reported:
Asing said he has no intention of resigning from his council post before tomorrow’s council meeting.
Two council members will be absent from that meeting because they will be attending the National Association of Counties annual conference in Kansas City, Mo.
Asing said he wants to be at the council meeting to ensure there is a quorum and business can be conducted.
Maybe I’m reading too much into it, but it just sort of smacked of a power trip to me. It’s like, come on, Kaipo, you’re mayor now. Resign from the council already. I mean, even the other Council members think you should.
As for Naue, all I can say is you gotta hand it to Chief Perry for getting creative and trying to find a solution to a situation that can only be described as tragic and ugly, and all the more so because it’s driven by greed.
You can tell from his comment to The Garden Island that he thinks the whole deal stinks:
Perry is not certain of what will happen once construction starts.
“Certainly there will be protesters, and the county, mainly KPD, will once again have to deal with issues that were created by the state entities,” Perry said. “Nevertheless, we will continue to demonstrate compassion, sensitivity and extraordinary restraint in enforcing the law.”
Meanwhile, it seems Brescia has lined up another contractor, Joe Galante, to do his dirty work after Ted Burkhardt backed out. He'll have his hands with Galante, who has a reputation for being tempermental and inexperienced in finish work. In her blog, Katy Rose writes that Galante is "a regular working guy facing tough economic times like so many of us. So often, the squeeze put on the working class is utilized as an effective way of dividing us from one another. I have compassion for this contractor, but I believe we have a responsibility to let him know how we feel about this...and that we can do it in a way that honors our class solidarity with a workingman."
I'm sorry, Katy, but whether he's a workingman or not, I'm not feeling too sympathetic. People make choices every single day about what's right and wrong, and so often they justify their decision with ye olde "economic squeeze" argument. He's a contractor. That business is all about boom and bust. Other contractors are also feeling squeezed right now and they're not stepping forward.
So now the big question remains: why does the state, which is charged with protecting Hawaiian burials, continually allow them to be disrupted, disturbed, destroyed and built on? What kind of protection is that? It’s all a sham, and yet another example of how the state is utterly failing to fulfill its responsibilities to the indigenous people of these Islands.