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.