The sun was an hour past risen, and climbing fast, when Koko and I arrived at the beach this morning. Our timing was perfect, as evidenced by the puddles and wet sand left by a just-passed squall.
A little bump from the north was breaking on the edge of the reef, whose inside waters were pools of glass, save for the broad swath of sparkle twinkling up at the sun. Every now and then a turtle surfaced, its glistening wet head a ball of floating light.
The beach was broad and smooth, adjoining a reef exposed by the extreme new moon low tide and cloaked in soft shades of rust and moss green. No one was in sight, save for a surfer far to the north and a cluster of net fishermen far to the south.
Fortunately, it was a far different day at the beach than the one experienced by a friend on Friday when she went to her favorite neighborhood stretch of sand — which also happens to be where Joe Brescia is building his house and several other luxurious homes are going up.
She goes there often, because she loves the place and also to document ongoing desecration in the hood, whether it’s construction on burial sites, encroachment onto the public shoreline, illegal vacation rentals or what have you.
It’s not a role that is universally appreciated, and on Friday she was harassed by the crew at the Brescia site, where Joe Galante has taken over as contractor. The workers apparently didn’t go through any cultural sensitivity training, with one sporting a tee-shirt that bore the image of a knife-pierced skull.
As you can see from these pictures, they’ve poured more cement and are proceeding on the structure.
Later, she was deemed a “busy body” by a woman who had to move her septic tank mauka after my friend complained to the county and Department of Health about its proximity to the reef.
The woman, an Aussie who has applied for permits for her two lavish vacation rentals under the misnomer of My Bungalow, told my friend she thought people would be grateful that she had “fixed up” the old King house and so “improved” the neighborhood.
She then asked my friend, “Why can’t you go the beach where you live?” — apparently without realizing that the same question could just as easily – and perhaps more appropriately — be posed to her.
Such encounters take some of the pleasure out of a beach walk, but quite frankly, if residents aren’t on it — and willing to speak up — the county and state let all kinds of crap slide through.
Kudos to the couple who spoke up about the pregnant monk seal being shot — the second seal in just over a month — even though they reportedly feared retaliation.
The Advertiser reported that the seal was killed at Pilaa, while The Garden Island’s story declined to name the beach at the request of NOAA officials.
If it was, indeed, Pilaa — a lot of people do not know the proper beach names — it ought to be easy to find the culprit. Just see who has keys to the gate there. Perhaps the offer of a reward would get some folks talking. These things do not happen without other people knowing what went down.
It’s puzzling why someone would do it. Killing an animal for food is one thing, but to kill a rare animal like that for sport is pretty weird and creepy — and another form of desecration in the hood. Let’s just hope there’s only wildlife exterminator out there and that he — you just know it’s gotta be a man — is soon busted.
On a brighter note, my friend Ka`ili said he ran into Mark Barbanell, who earlier prevented him from practicing his indigenous fishing rights at the Wainiha River, and Mark apologized and the two made nice.
While it will still be worthwhile to have someone from Native Hawaiian Legal Corp. come over to give a public talk about gathering rights, it's good that Mark and Kaili worked things out on their own, as two adults living in a very small community.