Sometimes I get emails that remind me why I do this blog, like the photo and message from a guy reporting that the Sheraton Poipu was renting cabanas on the beach for $40 per day, and wondering if it was legal.
I contacted the planning department, which said such an activity likely would require a Special Management Area permit. They're looking to see if the resort does, in fact, have such a permit. When I contacted the guy to tell him they're checking it out, he replied:
Thank you it looks fishy, no one should be doing business on the sand the sand belongs to all. These things I have learned in part from you. I have been reading your blog for years. Thank you
Hey, thank you, for caring enough to get involved. Because the sand does belong to the public — all the way to the upper reaches of the highest seasonal wash of the waves.
And sometimes I get emails that are terribly discouraging, like this photo of “marine biologist” Terry Lilley getting way too close and personal with an endangered Hawaiian monk seal:
Surely Terry, as self-proclaimed champion of the seas, knows better than to approach a monk seal, and that blocking an animal's route to the water is especially dangerous. The scene occurred at Kee, setting a very bad example for the tourists and keiki.
The occasion was the start of mayoral candidate Dustin Barca's run around the island. This video shows him launching his canoe just feet from the seal, which scurries out of the way.
Speaking of videos, Councilman Gary Hooser is oh-so-enamored of himself in this one that he's circulating the link with the comment:
This is the best 15 minutes I have ever delivered on the chemical companies, their attack on our community and why we are fighting back.
In checking out the link posted on his blog, I noticed he's massaged his bio to remove the dreaded “Realtor” profession, replacing it with "entrepreneur and small business owner." Hmmm.
In the video, Gary admits, “I'm caught in a positive feedback loop.” Though some might call it an echo chamber. He then goes on to talk about why he left his job at the Office of Environmental Quality Control:
It wasn't enough for me. I wanted to make a bigger impact.
Actually, he was about to get the boot, so he split.
But what struck me was his rationale for introducing Bill 2491, the GMO/pesticide regulatory bill that is now the subject of a lawsuit by the four seed/chem companies it targets. Gary tells of how some KVMH doctors believe they're seeing 10 times the national rate of a rare heart birth defect:
They're upfront. They don't know if it's pesticides or GMOs or what, but they believe there's a problem. That's enough for me. I don't need any more than that to pass legislation that's going to regulate these companies.
Oh, and the fact that 150 people are suing Pioneer over dust from the fields:
If they're concerned enough to file suit, clearly we have a problem.
After he tells us “I've been involved in a lot of important issues” and passing 2491 was “truly a phenomenal effort," he proclaims:
I'm confident the bill is good and solid and we will win.
So maybe, Gary, you'd like to put your own money where your mouth is?
And then he goes on to reveal what's really driving him:
The world is watching
me us. They [the chem companies] know the world is watching us. Communities all over our country are watching. They're celebrating our victory. They're hoping for us. We have to keep fighting, we have to keep winning and we have to show the world the little island that could still can.
Wow. Can you spell delusions of grandeur?
Finally, Hawaii Public Radio's first-rate talk show, The Conversation, will be broadcasting live on Kauai Wednesday and Thursday, starting at 8 a.m., covering topics of interest to our island and the rest of the state. You can listen online, or tune in at M 89.9.
I'm hoping the KKCR talk show hosts will listen in and discover what good talk radio can sound like.