Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Musings: Troubling Precedents

Residents on both ends of the island are scheduling protests this week over state decisions that have worrisome environmental and social consequences. In both communities, the message is simple and two-fold: enough is enough, and where will this lead?

On the westside, folks plan a Thursday rally at the entrance to the landfill to show “dissent and disapproval” over the state Health Department's decision to truck contaminated soil to the dump without first holding a public hearing in Kekaha.

And on the Northshore, a rally is set for 5 p.m. Saturday at the Hanalei Pier to express opposition to the state granting a recreational mooring permit for the 160-foot super-yacht Karima, which is essentially a floating vacation rental in Hanalei Bay.
Soil contaminated with dioxin and arsenic has been trucked from Kilauea to the landfill six days a week since Aug. 6. Ultimately, some 500 to 600 cubic yards of dirty dirt is expected to be dumped at the dump. It is being excavated from a neighborhood formerly used by Kilauea Sugar Co. as a pesticide mixing site.

Though DOH held an advisory meeting on its plans in Kilauea, no meeting was held on the westside. In both communities, people were surprised to learn the Kekaha landfill is permitted to accept certain types of hazardous waste.

In an email advising people of the protest — the time will be determined at a meeting tonight — Kekaha activist Jose Bulatao noted:

Right now, all toxic materials deemed to be “safe” can be transported and dumped at the landfill!  No one has said anything about the ACCUMULATIVE EFFECT AND IMPACT of bringing ALL those toxic materials from ALL OVER THE ISLAND to the SAME PLACE to be dumped!  What’s next?  The toxic materials from the Lihue mill?  The toxic materials from the Kekaha mill and from identified contaminated areas across from the Kekaha mill site?  When will it end?  What do we know of toxic materials coming in from anywhere else?  How long has this been going on?

In Hanalei, meanwhile, residents are getting increasingly annoyed with Karima, a “floating hotel” that has been moored in the Bay since early July. The state gave Karima a recreational mooring permit that expires Aug. 20. But community activist Makaala Kaauamoana says the vessel, which can accommodate 12 passengers and 14 crew, is a “private charter for rent and appears to have had several bookings over their stay in Hanalei.”

The ship also has anchored at Na Pali, Makua, Kalihiwai and Kauapea, and the customers on board have been diving, water skiing and “using Hanalei” in many ways all summer, Makaala noted in an advisory sent out about the protest.

The goal of Saturday's rally is to encourage the state to establish rules requiring “floating hotels” to moor only in harbors. Residents are worried that Karima will set a precedent for allowing more aquatic vacation rentals in Hanalei Bay.

In the advisory, Makaala goes on to state:

They have recently been allowed to tie up at our pier for fear that their straight shaft/prop launch would damage coral if it used the Hanalei River ingress/egress. There have been several concerns expressed by both the public and the lifeguards about this as it is in our designated swimming area.

They also caused quite a stir last month when they tried to use the ingress/egress at Hanalei Pavilion. The lifeguards thought this was dangerous since they cannot pull their boat out of the water and advised them to land further west at the “cape.” This area is also a swim/surf zone.

There have also been issues with the helicopter on board. While there are no FAA regulations against flying in Hanalei., there is a published advisory for aircraft to avoid Hanalei Bay as a noise sensitive area. All commercial aircraft respect this advisory. Karima has flown five to ten flights over our homes on a regular basis during their stay.

The Hawaii State Attorney General has opined previously that the State cannot make rules specific for commercial or recreational uses. We disagree but that is an argument for another day. For now, we are working to get specific rule for Hanalei as it is not a harbor, has no facilities for this use, is in the NOAA Sanctuary and this use will conflict with others traditional to the place.


Anonymous said...

Apparently you didn't listen to KKCR yesterday.

Yacht is is privately owned, by four Brazilian families. No rentals took place.

One must check scources before publishling.

Coconut wireless is alive and well but often misconstrued or often flat out wrong in many cases.

Anonymous said...

Do you believe everything you hear on KKCR?

Anonymous said...

Yes, these are both worth protesting! Dumping on Kekaha is environmental racism / elitism. Having huge ugly ships in little Hanalei Bay destroys the very essence of the area.

Anonymous said...

What Kauai needs is a hurricane to demolish everything and temporarily ruin the economy so that these millionaires leave again.

Anonymous said...

Well helicopters cannot fly under 500 ft or is it 1000ft over residential areas and they cannot land on the beach and yes there is the noise (nuisance law?).

If you got your camera, take pic of landings. Try to get numbers+faces on bird in pic., take pics of anything else thatʻs odd.
Call DLNR HOTLINE 274-3521.

Or call Ms. whatʻs her name know not much at mayorʻs office.

Anonymous said...

Don't be hatin' millionaires.

We're not all that bad.

It's just the entitlement thing that, like an insidious vapor, slowly but surely envelopes many of us.

koko pa'ele said...

that's a lot of families that own that dinghy!
four brazilian!

Anonymous said...

Can't park a boat in the bay' but a hundred from the white trash tribe can destroy a very hawaiian place, Kalalau. Getreal with your priorities...