Friday, November 21, 2008

Musings: Tough Talk

The morning had a wintry feel when Koko and I went walking — well, as wintry as it can be with a temperature of 67 degrees and the smell of freshly mowed grass and mock orange lingering in the faintly misty air.

Given the nippiness, we might have lingered longer in the snugness of the bed, but sleep was made impossible when the chickens started in on one of their inexplicable weird rants — not unlike Councilwoman Shaylene Iseri-Carvalho, who this week attended her last Council meeting and uttered a remark that left me worried about how she’s going to handle her new job as County Prosecutor.

The topic was the Coastal Path, the northern portion of which remains closed because of “outstanding issues concerning rockfall mitigation, interpretive signage and additional fencing north and south of Kealia bridge that must be resolved,” [County Parks and Recreation Deputy Director Kylan] Dela Cruz said.

Never mind that former parks director Bernard Carvalho, who is now Mayor-elect, said the path would be pau in late August or early September. And perhaps it would have been, if he hadn’t taken vacation to run for office.

At any rate, people are — gasp — already using the path because it is paved, after all, and it follows a cane road route that they’d been using for years, well before the County decided to gussy it all up with concrete and fences. Pedestrians can easily skirt the locked gate by simply walking around it on the makai side, where, btw, the coastline is already heavily eroding.

Anyway, this egregious act of the public using public lands did not please Shaylene, who according to The Garden Island, compared “the ‘trespassing’ there to stealing a new blouse. She said just because one sees it and wants it, laws standing in the way must be followed.”

“We’re trying to protect the public from itself,” she said, adding that if someone gets hurt on the unopened portion of the path that person would likely sue the county.

OK, Shaylene, let’s get a grip. First, walking on a portion of the Path that has not been officially opened is not in any way like stealing a blouse. And second, you’re not trying to protect us from ourselves — whatever that is — you’re just trying to make sure the county doesn’t get sued.

And that’s what concerns me about the Path. Mark my words, we’re going to end up losing access when the concrete cracks or a dog bites somebody or coastal erosion encroaches — already a scenario at the portion by Pono Kai — and then the county will close it up, just like they’ve relinquished beach accesses, because they’re worried about liability.

In the meantime, best not be planning any scofflaw behavior, like walking Fido without a doo doo bag in hand and a carefully measured leash, because the county will show no mercy — and presumably, neither will Shaylene.

“We expect citations issued,” Council Chair Jay Furfaro said. “We don’t expect forgiveness. Those that abuse the intent are only hurting those who will follow the rules.”

Now if only former Mayor Maryanne Kusaka had used that kind of tough talk with Jimmy Pflueger regarding his fetish for unpermitted earth-alterations, we might not have had seven people die when the Kaloko reservoir breached back in March 2006.

It seems similar storm conditions are headed our way this weekend, although forecasters aren’t expecting the rain to last for 40 days and nights.

Getting back to tough talk that is actually followed up with action, Willacy [Texas] County District Attorney Juan Angel Guerra brought an indictment against Vice President Cheney and former Attorney General Alberto Gonzales on state charges accusing them of responsibility for prisoner abuse in a privately run federal jail. According to Democracy Now!:

The indictment cites Cheney’s investment in Vanguard Group, which owns an interest in private prisons in South Texas. Gonzales is accused of using his position while in office to stop an investigation in 2006 into abuses at one of the privately run prisons.

Wow, amazing what a mere local prosecutor can do. Hmmmm. I wonder if we can get Shaylene to focus on something bigger than the bike bath and blouses.


Anonymous said...

Bill McCorriston's press conference defending Pflueger is hilarious. "My poor client is the victim of government persecution. I'm going to do everything that I can to see that justice is done because this is so unfair. His paying me a lot of $$$$$$$$ has nothing to do with my sense of injustice."

Ed Coll said...

Joan wrote; "Wow, amazing what a mere local prosecutor can do. Hmmmm. I wonder if we can get Shaylene to focus on something bigger than the bike bath and blouses."

I doubt it. She believes people are inherently lawless and evil and must have constant supervision lest OMG we will have anarchy!