Koko and I almost saw the sun rise when we went walking this morning. It’s not that we haven’t been out lately, it’s just that we haven’t been out that late, what with the sun waiting until a leisurely 6:44 a.m. to climb above the horizon.
We were strolling in that transitional time between night and day, a time I especially like, with a smattering of stars still sprinkled over a brightening sky. It was light enough to illuminate the puddles along the road, but not the mud, which made itself known through that smooshing, sliding feeling under foot.
Our meanderings along this particular stretch of roadway are, thankfully, coming to an end. Moving day — what a misnomer for a task that has never, in my experience, been completed in a single day — is just around the corner, which necessitated calls to the utility companies.
KIUC had me signed up in a few minutes, with no fuss and minimal chit chat. Hawaiian Tel, which last time failed to transfer my Internet service and erased all my stored email, was a different story. We’ve exchanged four phone calls already and service is still not guaranteed. Somehow they are unable to locate a house known to KIUC and the post office, even though I’ve provided them with the number of the phone that was previously installed there.
“Are you looking forward to moving?” chirped the Hawaiian Tel representative, before chortling: “That’s like saying you`re looking forward to somebody giving you a full body beating.”
Ha, ha. Thanks for cheering me up.
Then there was his colleague, who wasn’t sure she could transfer my existing phone number, even though I was sure it could be, since it was previously transferred from that very same road.
“But I could find you a really nice new number,” she cajoled. “One you might like even better.”
Where do they dig these people up? Which, come to think of it, is a question that could also be posed about some of those who leave anonymous comments on this blog. And since we’re on that subject, I want to correct a viewpoint that was erroneously attributed to me:
Joan has already admitted numerous times that she's against making the beaches more accessible to people.
In fact, I fully support ensuring public access to each and every beach in Hawaii. However, that does not mean every access has to be “improved” to the point where it’s easily traversed by every person.
And contrary to another false allegation, I like science and respect scientists, which is why I’m looking forward to Saturday’s conference (9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at KCC-PAC) on climate change. A panel of experts will present their scientific research on how it’s likely to impact Kauai, and pre-registrations indicate the event is drawing folks outside the usual “green” crowd. Kudos to Carl Berg for pulling it together.
Carl will be talking about the conference on my radio show (4 to 6 p.m. Thursday on KKCR). I’ll also be joined by Caren Diamond, and we’ll be discussing shoreline setbacks, coastal development, Larsen’s Beach, the proposal to put the Path on Wailua beach and other timely topics.
Speaking of which, I’ve been preparing for a turkey distribution through the food pantry at the place where I work. Unfortunately, the Food Bank is getting just 350 turkeys for all its food pantries this year, which is less than half what it got last year. Meanwhile, demand for food is up 70 percent at the pantries.
The tough economic times are also evident in the monthly Kauai Business Report, where foreclosures dominate the civil case filings, most of the building permits issued are for solar panel installations and small residential jobs and the greatly shortened list of real estate sales included just three transactions over $1 million.
A friend in the trades told me of a guy who had driven from the Homesteads to Kekaha, just to install a washer-dryer, because he was so hungry for work. “It’s slim pickin’s out there,” he said.
The Hawaii Department of Business, Economic Development and Tourism agrees, revising downward its previous predictions on job losses and visitor arrivals.
”Assuming continued improvement in national and international economic conditions, modest growth in the state's economy is forecast to return by 2011," DBEDT said in announcing the newest forecast.
Meanwhile, in another world, far away, things are far rosier, with Democracy Now! reporting that Wall Street is looking forward to record profits:
New government figures show Wall Street is on pace to have its most profitable year to date. On Tuesday, the New York Comptroller Office said Wall Street profits are set to exceed the record set three years ago, before the onset of the nation’s financial meltdown. The four largest firms—Goldman Sachs, Merrill Lynch, Morgan Stanley and JPMorgan Chase—took in $22.5 billion in profits through September. The top six banks set aside $112 billion for salaries and bonuses over the same period. In a statement, New York Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli said, “The national economy is slowly improving, but Wall Street has recovered much faster than anyone had envisioned.”
First the robber barons crash the world's economy, then they reap record profits. Doncha just love capitalism?