Thursday, December 1, 2011

Musings: North Shore Madness

It seems a cat is trying to adopt me, in the way that the wild kitties do on Kauai. First I saw it hanging in all four corners of my yard. Then I spotted it walking the perimeter in daylight. Next came the dead bird offering on the stairs leading up to my porch. And then this morning, it was sleeping on the front door mat, a cozy retreat in a night of heavy rain.

So far it hasn't let me get close, but slowly and surely it's building up its courage.

I was thinking about courage when I read a Democracy Now! report from a correspondent who has been covering the revolutions in Egypt and Libya:

”One of the things that was really remarkable over the past year that I saw in both Egypt and Libya is the fearlessness of people," [Anjali] Kamat says. "I was really taken aback by the scenes of crowds of people running into armed tanks, running into vehicles that [opened] opening fire — people just without any fear."

And I wondered, what would be the equivalent in America? Braving the “midnight madness” of a Black Friday sale at Wal-Mart? Or simply daring to open your mouth about the madness at all?

Speaking of madness, two story assignments took me to the North Shore recently, where I was stunned to see what's happening to the road at the Lumahai overlook. It's like they're taking down an entire mountain there, and all I could think was, whoa, that's an awful lot of soil to have exposed on the rainiest part of the island in winter.... Crazy.

I couldn't get a picture, because the traffic was backed up and there was nowhere to pull over. But on the way up, I did stop at Kalihiwai Road, as I'd heard that two fishing accesses there had been closed.

Sure enough, I found this:
Though the gate, which was installed some time back to keep dogs out of a shearwater colony there, wasn't locked, the message — beat it! — was quite clear, at least to those who don't know this is a public access.

To put the location in context, this access runs between property owned by oil heiress Anne Getty Earhart on one side:
And on the other side is land owned by actor Ben Stiller:
For a bit of background, this traditional fishing access used to run through the land on Stiller's side, but when he bought the property, he didn't want people going there anymore. So he worked with some of the local fishermen to realign the access off to the side of his lot.

I'm not sure who put up the Posted Keep Out No Trespassing sign on the gate. It could've been Anne's staff, seeing as how they already installed irrigation heads in the access, which makes it often muddy and creates a tripping hazard, and planted palms right along the fence, so that fallen fronds block the way at times.

Or it could've been Ben's people.

I know it wasn't the KISC guys, who are treating a serious infestation of fire ants introduced a decade ago by Anne's landscape contractor, Dan Shook, because I asked their leader, Keren Gundersen, and she said, “We can't close that off because it's a public access.”

But the KISC crew did recycle an old David Henkin for Lt. Gov. sign, which they posted at the head of another long-used fishing trail on the west side of Ben's property warning folks about the fire ants there.
Keren said that trail apparently does run through private property, and when I stopped by it was informally closed off with hazard tape:
So in the madness that has become the lives of the rich and famous on the North Shore, you introduce a nasty pest and two coastal accesses get closed off. But you don't care, because you're hardly here, anyway, and besides, you already made your own — private, of course — trail down to the beach.


Anonymous said...

time for an "occupt the beach access"... it will have to be a roving protest

Anonymous said...

Money talks; we walk--well, when and where we're allowed to....

Anonymous said...

Third option, it was put up by local families (who would have raised a hue and cry long ago if they were denied access) , who don't want this spot overrun by degenerates, day trippers and squatters.
Nice to broadcast this special place to the "public" for a Queen's Bath times two situation.
Maybe Andrew Doughty should include this spot in the next Ultimate Guide, that would really stick it to the richies, with whom you have some "history" with?

Anonymous said...

The "1 percent"......

and we love to hate them!

We the 99 % are just like the fires ants....a nuisance to them.

Money can buy you a beach property, but it won't buy you Love on Kauai

Dr Shibai

Joan Conrow said...

Anon 7:19
It was locals who alerted me to this. And it's been in Ultimate Kauai Guide for many years now.

Anonymous said...

It is Ben Stiller that is the degenerate, tripper and squatter.
That is one garbage can person. Didnʻt know he was adding to the fecal excrement on this beautiful island.
Why canʻt they stay in their own whoreywood back yard?

ugh that guy gives me the creeps.

Anonymous said...

Here, review this.

Anonymous said...

That url doesn't go anywhere

Anonymous said...

So I just checked that site, which lead me to download the Kauai County Open Space report produced in 2005. A six year old report, when I went to, the 2005 was the only one to list the PUBLIC accesses? Subsequent reports omit them? Interesting.

Anonymous said...

10:17 am, don't try any harder to figure out how the web address

Anonymous said...

"Money can buy you a beach property, but it won't buy you Love on Kauai"

Love (of the general public)is overrated. I'll take the money 10 out of 10 times.

Anonymous said...

The change in the highway was reviewed, at least, by the Hanalei to Haena historic roadways crowd and a public meeting held prior, you must have missed it.

Anonymous said...

Joan, did you see that the access you reference is not listed? How do we, you know, other than so and so said, that is is a dedicated, legal public access? Who is willing to call the Open Space specialist to ask?

Joan Conrow said...

The access I referenced is indeed listed in the document you cited and I'm following up on this and other access issues for a story. I'll be sure to let you know when it comes out!

Mauibrad said...

Has that agreed upon beach access between Stiller and Getty been opened back up?