Venus hung like a jewel amid feathery wisps of pink and a bold white moon provided ample light to walk when the dogs and I ventured out beneath the pale stars of a crisp and dewy morning — the last of 2012.
Overall, it's been a good year, ending with a stretch of gorgeous days — clear skies, temps in the 80s, gentle breezes, big surf, skies impossibly blue. It's the kind of weather that has tourists picking up the real estate magazines, which is why it's no coincidence that when Hawaii accommodated a record-breaking 8 million visitors this year, the real estate market also jumped.
Driving through Moloaa the other day, I was stunned at all for the For Sale signs on the CPR ag lots developed in the last real estate boom. Spec and flip. It's the name of the game.
But don't worry:
Through ongoing collaborative efforts with global marketing partners and the visitor industry, the HTA is continuing to build a sustainable tourism economy.
Or so the HTA tells us...
Meanwhile, Rep. Derek Kawakami continues to demonstrate why he's such a disappointment. At Saturday's meeting of the Wailua-Kapa‘a Neighborhood Association, Derek was asked about Act 55, the Public Land Development Corp.:
“Put some trust in us,” Kawakami said. “Our intentions were well in meaning.”
If the Legislature's intentions were “well in meaning,” and politicians want to be trusted, then they shouldn't have snuck the bill through. It was so devious that Councilman Gary Hooser described it as a “travesty of the legislative process.”
The Garden Island went on to report, in its coverage of the meeting, how Derek sees the PLDC being used on Kauai:
[Kawakami] is also is looking at ways to help Hanapepe redevelop and become an economic driver by using state lands.
This underscores one of the big problems with Act 55 and the PLDC, which I outlined back in October of last year:
The bill passed with very little public attention, but I wasn't concerned until I watched the video of the legislative briefing held by Sens. Malama Solomon and Donovan Dela Cruz, who spearheaded the bill. They were pretty much licking their chops as they spoke about using the PLDC to create density around high-speed rail stations and spark the development of state harbors, rural areas and geothermal energy. It became clear that they, and likely other lawmakers and their developer cronies, have their pet projects that will be pushed right through.
Why do you suppose Derek focused his sights on the redevelopment of Hanapepe, especially when he doesn't even represent that district? Where was the public discussion that determined Hanapepe should be given priority over any other place? Could his desire to turn Hanapepe into an "economic driver" have anything to do with furthering his family's economic interests in that area?
But at least we can take heart in changes within the Office of Prosecuting Attorney. Prosecutor Justin Kollar has not only extended a major olive branch to KPD, he's also updated the OPA website to add the vision/mission statement that was strikingly absent under the reign of Shaylene Iseri-Carvalho:
It is our mission to promote the fair, impartial and expeditious pursuit of justice in every case, to ensure safer communities, and to promote integrity in our profession.
It is our mission to temper justice with compassion, and to do our work in an open, transparent, and accountable way.
Accountability? Compassion? Transparency? Hallelujah! He also replaced the cheesy campaign picture of Shay with a photo of himself looking prosecutorial in suit and tie on the courthouse steps.
Shay, meanwhile, has left quite a legacy, earning herself a place on the list of America's worst bosses. Shoots, and they didn't even know the half of it.
Well, as the saying goes this time of year, out with the old, in with the new...