Scarlet streaks and swirls smeared the sky, stained the sea a similar shade. And then the sun rose as a golden orb from water that warmed sand untouched by footprints, save for the tiny tracks of ruddy turnstones foraging in the foam.
Birds and crabs aren't the only creatures foraging on the beach. Let's not forget voracious upscale realtors like Neal Norman, who is making a small fortune selling oceanfront digs to Julia Roberts and other wealthy elites. Neal has listed Julia's Haena house for $17 million — after selling her the old Faye estate (with its vacation rental permit) on Hanalei Bay for a reported $13.4 million in 2011.
Though Neal personally owns an oceanfront house on conservation land in Haena — where part of the public beach has been stolen by sandbags thickly vegetated in irrigated naupaka — he doesn't dabble solely in seaside real estate. A look at the current listings page on his misnamed "Hawaii Life" website shows a plethora of properties that would be best termed as a blatant misuse of agricultural land.
Like the seven properties totaling more than $80 million in the Kauapea-Kilauea road area above Kauapea (Secret) Beach — an area that not so long ago was being successfully farmed, until rising property taxes drove out the farmers.
He's also the listing agent for other multi-million-dollar estate properties on ag land in Kalihiwai Ridge, Anini Vista, Kalihiwai and Kapahi and he's selling the ag estate lots that displaced Growing Greens, a longtime nursery on Kawaihau Road.
Then there's the $3.5 million, 63-acre ranch property at the base of Kalalea mountain in Anahola, which he advertises as:
Approved 5-unit CPR project AND Tentative Subdivision Approval for a 12-lot agricultural subdivision (with density potential for up to 19 home sites). Water supplied via two existing County water meters and supplemented by a private well which is capable of over-supplying the residential and agricultural needs [wink, wink] of the parcel.
To be fair, Neal does have one property euphemistically listed as a “farmer's delight” — a 35-acre parcel in the Moloaa hui with “farm dwelling rights” (more wink, wink) and ag water only. No doubt the $950,000 price tag would delight a bonafide farmer.
In short, Neal is a classic example of a guy who is steadily destroying agriculture on Kauai by driving up land values to the place where they simply cannot afford farming.
But that doesn't stop him from pretending he's something different, as in a lover of the land and a friend of farmers. As his website proclaims:
What’s more, Neal has cared for Kauai’s “aina” by planting thousands of trees for the benefit of future generations and serving on agriculture boards and committees so that farmers would be able to develop improved and reliable organic standards.
Neal also supported Bill 2491 and GMO Free Kauai, which again raises the issue of just what and who are really behind this movement. If you follow the progression, Neal and his co-horts are running out of ag land to sell on the North Shore, so they've moved into Kapaa and are headed southwest — once they dislodge those pesky seed companies.
But I'm sure Neal is driven soley by his love for Kauai, rather than pure greed. After all, as his website gushes:
Neal is grateful for the wonderful life he gets to enjoy everyday on Kauai and is a strong believer in giving back.
Great! Glad to hear it! So how about giving us back our ag land, Neal? Oh, and the beach, too, while you're at it.
Can't he be thrown in jail for fraudulent misrepresentation of the properties? Time to put this guy in jail!
Your killing the messenger. Neal's not driving up the prices for farmers.
There's a limited supply of land on Kauai. Not enough for how many people want to live here.
Therefore, prices go up, and unfortunately, it's the rich who can afford it.
It's simple economics (supply and demand). As somebody who grew up on Kauai -- I feel the pain. Both my brothers have been forced from the North Shore (where they've lived their entire lives) because of property costs. I hope we can work together to find a positive solution for all, but blaming one person is not going to solve anything.
It's guys like this that I dont want to be aligned with in the battle against the ag-chem corporations. Realtors like him are no better then the bosses of the seed companies,its all about profits. People like me who have no ulterior motive other than a genuine concern for the health of the land for my moopuna and future generations, get overlooked.
And what of the Kanaka Maoli who
remain marginalized, whose traditional practices mandate us to malama Haloa, our elder that takes care of us and we him? How do our values and traditions conflict with the model of industrial ag and the biotech companies land nmanagement practices? Our mana'o is irrelevant to most. I dont like these scabs jumping on to the "malama 'aina" bandwagon when they have no concept of what that entails and worse are using it for their own self-serving agenda.
way to go joan! tell it like it is!!
Oh No Joan!- Now you have done it.
Hawaii Life Realtors and Neal (affectionately known as Neal the Squeal by his former,into the court system,friends in Florida) Norman, have done their all to fight evil Big Farms, promote organic farms and preserve our beaches (by cutting off access at Secret Beach).
Just because Hawaii Life develops real, sustainable organic farms that merely cost 1 mil to 70 million is no reason to lambast Neal Norman and his Hawaii Life masters.
Hawaii Life really really feels bad about the Growing Green Nursery folks, it is unfortunate that they have gotten in the way of real farming. The Hawaii Life agent who is running (and owns) the Growing Green AG CONDO site is the same person who built the condos across Safeway, denied the County the Bike Path the makai side access in that area and has been involved in very creative financial conundrums.
It is unfair of you, Joan, to single these guys out, they are NOT after the money, they really love this island and they support locally grown products. Hawaii Life Real Estate company is made up of really caring individuals who malama the aina and kokua the people. Besides, these guys are close to Hollywood Stars and that alone is a passport to greatness. Pilau `aihue.
I know you will hate this, Joan, but Hawaii Island passed the GMO BAN!!! They've at least got an enlightened Mayor...
I have no reason to hate the passage of that bill.
Well Joan, who approves all these Ag subdivisions? The show me the money Planning Commission and their bosses, the permitting director and the mayor. Close that gaping lop hole if you really what to take the high road.
So Neil is employing the old Philadelphia strategy, help create blighted neighborhood, buy cheap, hold for a bit, redevelop into luxury eclectic(sorry) communities at top dollar.
i welcome the likes of anyone that takes on and cleans up (for example) Kapahi with its myriads of fighting roosters tied by one leg until they die a horrible death, nighttime gambling chicken fights, hundreds of dogs crowded into cages, evil signs like "get out" "you are being watched," pollution of heavy metals rotting all over the place, illegal dumping, pig carcasses and bowels hanging around, 'thrill seeking drivers" in the night looking for wild animals like (baby) pigs and chickens on the road so they can flatten them with their high trucks or junk cars. Thank you "planning Commission and their bosses, the permitting director and the mayor" for helping us compassionate residents and visitors alike who have to witness this sad state of affairs every day.
To 7:08 You would be much happier in Princeville or Honolulu. Please go.
Hawaii has much in common with Persian Gulf sheikdoms. We too have a fantasy economy based on a limited natural resource that is in high demand on the world market. It's just that in our case we are talking about land instead of oil. Some of those Gulf states, however, have been proactive at preparing their societies and economies for reality. Hawaii, on the other hand, shows no sign of shifting. We starve our educational system, including reducing opportunities for pre-school, so that our children are ill prepared to compete in the world. We castrate promising industries that could otherwise diversify our economy. We argue incessantly about infrastructure or simply refuse to invest in it (rail, bike path, smart grid, sewage treatment). Instead, we double-down on the fantasy by selling off vast tracts of land. In the process, we destroy what makes Hawaii so desirable (see south-shore of Maui). We also erode the culture of these islands by chasing our keiki out of their homeland. Limited job opportunities lead some to pursue their passions and use their talents elsewhere. Those who try to stay find that without the industries to support high-paying jobs, they are unable to compete in the housing market against the demand for TVRs and time-share condos.
nothing that we all haven't known about for decades with him! and believe me EVERYONE knows his antics!!!...we've been involved with his so called auctions, his mis -representation of property owners, misconduct and horrible ethics, but it doesn't sway a different outcome. I would hate to have such gutter integrity and zero character while continually trying to appear as glorious living in this community. hes a prime example of those who reap the money and could care less about the community. Self righteous and hubris disguised as caring. Hes from the mainland, and bonds with the same soulless folks who have bought and encapsulated themselves on Kauapea, mid Hanalei bay, Anini vista. Its all money driven. Although he is corrupt and doesn't care, he is allowed to be by affiliations with Hawaii Life, planning, council who are complicite to the bone for allowing all to transpire. funny too, the same folks who bad mouth him still employ him as their realtor. Great example of why issues such as Hanalei ridge development with Ohana realty and Pierre Omiydar assertions that "we care" and are eco green and will pump in millions of dollars to this local economy...is all crap! Its profit margins that benefit noone except the rich mainland buyers. Great job calling him out! There are others that deserve to be in the true spotlight.
Yes 7:40 am. Lets all KEEP KAPAA GHETTO!!!!!
Somewhere in a trailer park near Jesse Pinkman, a tattooed scabbed meth addict is similarly resisting efforts to raise the standard of living for people and animals in his neighborhood. He might even have a "You are being watched" sign too.
What in the world makes you think Neal Norman is raising the standard of living in Kapaa or cleaning up Kapahi???? What he is doing has nothing to do with helping animals. Great way to change the subject though.
does any one really think that a few comments about greed and Hawaii Life will affect anyone ? Hawaii Life can buy and sell all of you 10 times over.
7:08 and 12:59 I lived on the NS for 10 years (Hanalei and Anini) and have been in business and lived in Kapaa for over 30 years. Kapaa/Wailua has the best people, absolute best people, it is a great place.
Perhaps, you should move. I betcha a hunnerd dollahs that your friends at Hawaii Life real estate company would list yo house, chickens, dogs, pigs and all/
To see Hawaii Life latest, love the land project, go up Kawaihau Road, Lihue side of the Kaapuni Road intersection, you can't miss it.
And it all started with coke money. Straight from the florida druggy world to kauai.
Hawaii Life is a smart company, they get backdoor approvals "it'll be OK" from their good friends Bynam and Hooser.
Strange brew,loving council people and a cut and thrash Hawaii Life crew.
cry for kauai, the east coast crowd has bought and paid for many
Hooser is a realtor too.
I cannot fathom the fact that these people are making millions off the land that was stolen from my people. Makes me sick! Is there one Native Hawaiian realtor on this island getting something from all of these deals??? Yes, Bynum and Hooser are probably cashing in on these deals also...Both have got to go!!!!
I don't know what Hooser and Bynum have to do with Neil Norman and the raping and taking of Hawaiian Lands.
IF there is anyone to blame, it would be the Planning Commission and Planning Department who authorized many "gentle men farms" on this Island.
It is a travesty to ALL who care for this Island, but I would be especially upset if I was Hawaiian.
joan is neal norman the infiltrator you speak of. is he the bio tech plant (no pun intended) you speak harshly of?.
he supports KKCR, organic gardens and beekeeping like you do. would he sabotage 2491 just make a profit? tell me it aint so.
Anonymous (December 7, 2013 at 1:11 PM) said...
“I cannot fathom the fact that these people are making millions off the land that was stolen from my people.”
These lands weren’t “stolen” from Hawaiians as they are not the ceded lands. Get your history right. It was the ali’i who sold it off before the overthrow to make money to finance their lavish lifestyles. It was the ali’i who shared little with the kanaka maoli who only had their manini kuleana. I know this destroys the myth you’ve hung onto, but it's historical fact. Look at the land deeds.
Kauai, like many beautiful places in the world has fallen victim to rampant development and greed. When the system has a lack of adequate planning regulations, an unfair real estate tax structure and minimal regulation of the real estate industry, greedy, dishonest individuals like Neal Norman will propogate like GMO seeds. Government is in the business of collecting and spending money. It is never for the full benefit of its citizenry. Norman and Hawaii Life help to pump up the prices and taxes. They get their take and the government the increase in valuation. Neal Norman has done his job at contributing first and foremost to his personal bank account and does a great job at marketing the Aina and selling the "dream". He too, will ultimately suffer from his pathological lies.
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