So the public hearing on ag land vacation rentals was held.
On the public’s side were citizens — people who took time out of their day, unpaid, to attend.
The vacation rental owners sent their paid property managers and attorneys, including three from Belles, Graham, Proudfoot, Wilson & Chun — all of them formerly in the county’s employ. You would think one attorney could have spoken for all the firm’s clients, but then, all three couldn’t have racked up billable hours. The owners, apparently, were too busy to attend themselves. More likely, they live off island or are part of an investment consortium.
Unless Councilwoman Lani Kawahara has the courage to break free of Councilman Tim Bynum’s spell, or bill-pushers Tim and Councilman Jay Furfaro have dream epiphanies, this bogus bill is gonna go through.
The day before, the planning commission approved a bogus “farm dwelling” at Sea Cliff Plantation that will cover nearly half an acre — almost as much as the one acre of turf the owners plan to have someone “farm” for them.
The owners, Steven and Diane Dechka, were assisted in this charade by the Commissioners, of course, and also Rep. Roland Sagum. It was all so blatant that even Commission Chair Caven Raco couldn’t resist saying something about it, right after Commissioner Camilla Matsumoto had the nerve to say the state was having problems enforcing farm dwelling compliance, like the county has no responsibility in the matter.
“You know what I’m thinking, right? It’s kinda funny ... and perhaps it’s a coincidence, that the applicant has representation from somebody that has power in the Legislature,” said Raco, referring to Sagum.
Ho, ho, ho. Yeah, funny like a heart attack, seeing how some of our bogus lawmakers are bought and sold.
Meanwhile, Aunty Louise Sausen came on KKCR yesterday, trying to raise $5,000 to defend against a bogus lawsuit filed by Joe Brescia. He’s suing her, and others, for alleged damages stemming from alleged civil conspiracy, vandalism and terroristic threatening and other offenses for opposing the spec house he's building atop ancient burials at Naue.
“A lot of us guys in the front line have to go with what’s thrown at us and we look at you as the backbone,” she told listeners. “I stood up not just for myself, but all of you and future generations. I hope you can kokua me in my time of need.”
Aunty Louise’s attorney, Harold Bronstein, is volunteering his time, but money is needed to pay for depositions, court filings and other expenses. So her husband, Papa Sau, has made a surfboard that will be auctioned off to raise money. She’s also looking for donations, which can be sent to her at PO Box 944 Hanalei, 96714. Or contact her at email@example.com.
“The precedent on Naue is a big thing,” Aunty Louise said. “Now we have another place besides Honokahua [the mass burial ground uncovered to build the Ritz Carlton Kapalua on Mau] to look at and say, ‘this is what we don’t want.’”
You can be sure Brescia, who has made a tidy fortune developing and flipping properties here on Kauai, won’t be holding a bake sale to finance his legal vendetta.
Unfortunately, he’s not the only one trying to frighten people into silence. The developers of the two Coconut Marketplace resorts that the county approved without even requiring an Environmental Impact Statement — and Judge Kathleen Watanabe upheld — aggressively came after Aunty Nani Rogers for legal fees, even though the case was headed for an appeal.
But if she would agree to drop the appeal, the developers’ attorneys told her, they wouldn’t press for the legal fees. Problem is, Nani wasn’t the only plaintiff — Kauai’s Thousand Friends also had to go along. And because they were worried about the prospect of Nani losing her house, they did.
So the appeal got dropped and the two resorts are now free to move forward — if and when the economy picks up again — even though concerns about burials, traffic and other environmental issues have not been explored or addressed.
Just a few more bogus incidents in what is rapidly becoming a bogus paradise for the rich.