Saturday, June 6, 2009

Musings: What a Waste

While the recent Kona conditions turned the windward ocean into an azure lake and created a quality of light that gave colors a startling vibrancy, it sure is nice to have the cooling trades back and once again hear the wind in the trees.

A piece of wood with a blackened, gnarled tip bobbing vertically in the sea did a good imitation of a feeding turtle when Koko and I were at the beach, on the same stretch of sand where monk seals often pull out and snooze.

Perhaps the reward offered by Surfrider will help nail the person(s) who shot the two monk seals on the North Shore. Apparently the feds are working on the most recent case at Pilaa, and they do have a suspect and it’s looking like they’re gonna nail him.

This according to a Division of Conservation and Resources Enforcement (DOCARE) officer, who shared the news with me at Thursday’s Kauai-Niihau Island Burial Council meeting.

Once again, the State Historic Preservation Division requested the presence of armed DOCARE officers at the meeting. The officer said that either Pua Aiu or Nancy McMahon made the call.

It’s a very sad commentary on the current state of affairs that SHPD staff are so afraid of the kanaka whose iwi they are supposed to be protecting that they feel the need for personal bodyguards. And it’s also very sad that two DOCARE officers had to waste four hours of their valuable time in such a foolish way.

I mean, even if things did get out of hand, the fortress of Babylon — aka the Lihue cop shop — is only minutes away. This is a very good example of wasting state money.

Anyway, the DOCARE officer was really bummed because Gov. Lingle’s plan to furlough state workers for three days each month, coupled with the state hiring freeze, will leave Kauai with no DOCARE officers on duty some days each week.

And that means open season for the koa robbers and poachers and bleach fishermen and other pillagers, he said. Seems that under Lingle’s environment-friendly administration, the guys charged with protecting Hawaii’s natural resources aren’t considered essential workers.

Meanwhile, the big correction in Hawaii’s real estate market continues, with the Star-Bulletin reporting:

Kauai bore the brunt of the real estate slowdown, recording only 15 home sales in May, a 28.6 percent drop from the same month last year. This sales slump occurred despite a 14.9 percent median home-price drop to $600,000 in May compared with $705,000 in May 2008.

Sales for Kauai condos were even worse, with only 13 recorded in May, six less, or 31.6 percent down, from the same month a year ago. This drop also happened despite a large, 45.9 percent drop in condo median prices in May, to $330,000, down from $610,000 in May 2008.

That ought to please the guy driving the pick up truck whose back window bore a new version of an old sentiment:


Now if only the military would pack up and leave, too, instead of pressing ahead with its controversial, and contested, plans to conduct live fire training exercises among the endangered species and archeological sites of Makua Valley. And as The Advertiser reports, good old Sen. Dan — surprise! — is solidly on board, albeit shaky in his facts:

Inouye, a World War II combat veteran who lost his arm in battle, said the Army is a good neighbor and longtime member of the community.

Rep. Neil Abercrombie sees things a little differently:

"Makua as a training site was acquired in the wake of the Pearl Harbor attack in WW II and never intended to be permanent," Abercrombie said. "Alternatives which match the training needs of a 21st-century Army are available."

Sort of like how Kahoolawe, similarly acquired in WWII, was never intended to be a permanent bombing target. And some 50 years later, following intense public pressure, the Navy did finally beat it — leaving its devastation and unexploded ordnance behind.

What a waste. But then, that's what the military is all about: wasting lives, land, money, energy and resources.


Anonymous said...

"But then, that's what the military is all about: wasting lives, land, money, energy and resources."

-- so that would be the net view of the US mil? for the life of me i just dont see how even moderately "well informed" people can think such a view can hold up to even casual scrutiny

as to "armed DOCARE officers at the meeting"...unless there were some "near physical" confrontations in the recent past inside or outside those meetings, having armed guys is just bad PR (at a minimum) and sets them up for funny, telling comments like ~ "they are so afraid of one hawaiian with a stick they bring out the cops" (sorry i forget the exact quote, it was a damn good zinger tho)


Anonymous said...

How is it that you come to exempt yourself from the "yankee no forget go home" sentiment?

Anonymous said...

Yet Lingle states that this will not "minimize" service? Get will in so many different ways that she doesn't foresee as in DOCARE. As a "state worker" I recognize the dire straights we are in today requires drastic measures and I am willing to take a 14% cut in pay as long as it is across the board and it begins with her and her staff, including the legislature. As always it is the rank and file workers that will take the brunt of it, the ones who don't make the kind of salary that she does nor have the same kinds of perks. Some of us will be forced to give up medical coverage in order to pay the mortgage/rent each month.

Lets be sure Lingle stream-lines expenses at the same time and doesn't give preferrential treatment to pet projects like the stupidferry ala $40 million and counting.

Anonymous said...

Many "yankees" were born here, so this is "home" in every sense of the word to them.

Others moved here, so this is now "home", because this is America, where "home" = anyplace in the country one wishes to reside.

Too bad so many Hawaiians, and their bleeding heart followers, remain in denial that they've been foreclosed on long ago. Ain't nothing "yours" anymore except the private property you may own fee simple.

Get used to it.

Maybe pray for a Dept of Interior "reservation" you may get to "own" if the Akaka Bill passes.

That's it.

Anonymous said...

you hit the nail right on da you most often do: "the military is all about wasting lives, land, money, energy and resources"
obla de obla da...

Dawson said...

"But then, that's what the military is all about: wasting lives, land, money, energy and resources."

That's not all our military is about. It's an instrument of force for use in the defense of our country when we are attacked or threatened with attack.

And during the 99.999% of the time our country is not being attacked or threatened with attack, it's an instrument of colonialism, intimidation and nationalism wielded by an arrogant government bureaucracy that itself consumes lives, land, money, energy and resources in the name of the welfare of our country.

Katy said...

Hi Joan,

A couple of weeks ago I was behind a truck with a "nofogetfogohome" sticker, and seeing it set off a chain of thoughts so compelling I almost wanted to start blogging again!

Personally, I don't exempt myself as a target of that message, as one commenter suggested some do. At the same time, I don't feel insulted or defensive about it, either.

In fact, living in Hawai'i has helped me come to a deeper understanding of what "home" means to me, and what my obligations might be to the place I was raised. It has made me take a deeper look at the casual assumptions I have made throughout my life about what leaving home means.

None of this means that I feel unwelcome in Hawai'i, because I have been treated with much kindness. But I do admire on a deeper level today the amount of committment it takes for a person to dedicate themselves with love to the place they were born and raised. It's no less important than committing oneself to sticking with a marriage through thick and thin, to never abandoning one's family.

It makes me reconsider what responsibilities I have to the land that raised me, the imperfect place that frustrated me so much that I rejected it and ran away.

Hmmm...I don't have any answers, just many questions. But I'm grateful to the driver of that truck for helping me "not forget."

Anonymous said...

BREAKING NEWS — Stranded hunter found

By The Garden Island
Published: Monday, June 8, 2009 12:25 PM HST

LIHU‘E — At least one Wailua man is grateful for the county’s two-year-old Enhanced 911 system that allows dispatchers to pinpoint a caller’s location using global-positioning-system technology.

--- guess there is at least one guy happy about military activity (they got the ball rolling on gps)