Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Musings: Beached

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.


Anonymous said...

Thank you Joan for bringing those canbanas to our attention.
Hmmm, let me see, if this is legal, I can go over there and sit on that sand and sell cold drinks out of a cooler. After all, a cabana space/a cold drink, whatʻs the difference?

Anonymous said...

According to NOAA, If a seal is forced to move, or vocalizes in response to someone getting too close, then it's a take.

Sure looks like that seal was forced to move when Dustin's canoe was launched.

Anonymous said...

Joan - I'm glad you mentioned that the public ownership extends only up to the high wash of the waves (in normal seasonal but not storm surge). Those cabanas may well be on private property. But that said, there is a deep swatch of, I believe all shorelines that is Shoreline Management Area. This covers private property in which landowners may exclude public entry but still need Special Management Area permits for doing business.

Anonymous said...

Just because it's sand doesn't mean it's public property.

Anonymous said...

Ugh. I just watched the video. Too close yes. My husband and I have been caught on camera by tourists and reported us when our dog stumbled upon a seal it thought was a rock.

Lots of people around. Whereʻs all those ʻreportersʻ?

Was wondering, when Barca realizes being mayor may involve a lot of intense desk work, will he just dig out and get on a boat or a surfboard? Because it seems like this is too much a part of his life to make the sacrifice and transition to being mayor.

Anonymous said...

Actually that's pretty much what the Supreme Court did say in the latest Caren Diamond case.

Anonymous said...

If I got married on a beach above the high wash of the waves, do I still need a state permit?


The real answer is (regarding the cabanas) - apply for a permit and allow the issuing department to determine whether or not a permit is required. Then you have a letter stating the activity is considered Exempt.

If the company has no such letter on file to be able to prove it is an exempt activity then, please report it.

Anonymous said...

Easy fix for Sheraton....rent 'em on their property, price includes set-up. Not unlike every surf school, boat tour, SUP, beach gear renter etc. If they are on public lands, so what, public lands are used to make money by many. Sheraton is a good neighbor and the squealer who is deep throating them should mind his own beeswax.
It is this "if ya think your Mommy is Commie, tell your teacher" stuff that is destroying our island....sheesh, it seems the Jackpot/Fistee stratagem of niele neighbor syndrome is taking on new levels.

Anonymous said...

The Trotsky inspired "permanent environmentalism" being shellacked on Kauai by all manner of power hungry lime-lighters will continue.
The rules of Monk Seal engagement or any compromise with Big Ag do not apply to the enlightened "touched by the unseen hand" elitists who are intent on personal agendas.
The people on the "inside" are allowed to do as they please. They have a greater understanding of the issues, are really smart and will lead the poor Kauai people to a new way of life...whether the Kauaians want it or not. Smoke and mirrors.

Anonymous said...

No, June 3, 2014 at 6:15 PM, what is destroying ʻourʻ [not yours unless youʻre kanaka] island [all islands actually] is the indiscriminate use of Public Lands by private business. Public lands are for the public, not Sheraton.

It would seem that you might want to learn something about the Public Trust Doctrine to help you comprehend before you make comments on something you obviously donʻt know a whole lot about.

In Hawaii, letʻs use your terminology of "taking on new levels"; thatʻs exactly what the Public Land does in Hawaii becasue those lands are actually stolen Hawaiian lands being described as ʻpublicʻ for appearances. Appearances that this defacto state government is legitimate.

I am grateful to the watcher who reported and to Joan for covering it.

Anonymous said...

Beach concessions everywhere! Million people all over the island. Roads crisscrossing the island carrying tourists all over the place. Yeah, that's a plan for the future.

Anonymous said...

I hope people reading Joan's post actually take the time to click on the link. The video of Dustin Barca launching his "Vote for Barca" canoe while a monk seal has to literally try to scramble out of the way shows exactly how genuine Barca's concern for the aina is. One would think at least one out of the 10 or so people pushing the canoe would have noticed the seal (and all the tourists watching the seal), but more likely they were sure everyone was there to witness the emergence of our new island hero. It should be turned into the proper authorities and he should be arrested.

Anonymous said...

Dear Kanaka. Do you believe that Hawaii will be returned to you ? I doubt the USA will just say OK it is yours I think you will have to take it back I doubt you have that ability So what is your timeframe for the return

Anonymous said...

@10:42 pm
I sent the video link to NOAA. Not sure what, if anything, will be done about it.

Anonymous said...

If I were a kanaka I would say to "So what is your timeframe for the return"......

My response: I guess thatʻs for me to know, and you to find out. In other words, wrong question.

Anonymous said...

"Was wondering, when Barca realizes being mayor may involve a lot of intense desk work, will he just dig out and get on a boat or a surfboard? Because it seems like this is too much a part of his life to make the sacrifice and transition to being mayor."

Say 4:02 what an ignorant presumptuous little bit of arrogance. Barca would do what needs to be done to get the job done like everything else he does you moron. What you a mind reader now? You asking yourself questions about your projections? Arrogant ignorance at it's finest.

Anonymous said...

Don't even waste your time thinking that Barca will win. We need a change for the better not for the worse.....but who is Barca anyway? Get real! To him his run for Mayor is a JOKE! Please make your vote count!
CARVALHO all the way!

Anonymous said...

Colorado and Washington made legal what the Federal government says is illegal. On Kauai, some people want to criminalize what the State and Federal government declare legal.

Anonymous said...

When Barca was asked to run for Mayor, he said sure. He just ran. Next he'll be challenging Bernard to a fight, and then we will see who wins!

Anonymous said...

To June 4, 2014 at 8:23 PM, I was just asking a logical question. After all he doesnʻt even have a high school education because he might have been too busy surfing and boating to bother with school.

As far as ʻarrogantʻ, if you are any judge of the kind of people that he rubs elbows with, he has just lost my support. I had been seriously considering him as a wild card and was reassuring myself.

Thatʻs off the table now. Thanks to you.

Anonymous said...

Ok, June 5, 2014 at 6:02 AM, is that the kind of stupidity we can look forward to in a mayoral race?

Maybe he can win in a fight with Carvalho physically, the question here is can he win in an intellectual battle?
Youʻre in the wrong ring.

Anonymous said...

Just for your information, Bernard is no wuss when it comes to physical challenge. He might even be able to win in a fight. Careful what you calling your candidate out for.

Anonymous said...

Yea, I think that guy is Barca up the wrong tree.

Anonymous said...

I'll never vote for Carvalho. Never have never will. He lacks the brains. We have Beth and George running the show. Where is Nadine? She like dropped out of public view unlike her predecessor. We don't need an ambassador of aloha. We need a true leader and visionary who can formulate and put into action his plans. Barca is green but so too was Bernard. He spends more time flitting from one event to another leaving important County business to his minions.

Anonymous said...

Actually, I did re-read the entire 64 page Supreme Court Decision and it only addressed the means of determining the certified shoreline and artificially induced vegetation but in no way changed the wording of the law delineating the public/private boundary as the "upper reaches of the waves, other than storm and seismic waves, at high tide during the season of the year when the highest wash of the waves occurs".

So land mauka of that delineation, regardless of whether it is sand or vegetation, is still private property and the landowner retains the right of exclusion that is inherent in private land ownership allowing, of course, for Native Hawaiian gathering rights and cultural practices.


Dawson said...

"When Barca was asked to run for Mayor, he said sure. He just ran. Next he'll be challenging Bernard to a fight, and then we will see who wins!"
- Anonymous

"Bernard is no wuss when it comes to physical challenge. He might even be able to win in a fight. Careful what you calling your candidate out for."
- Anonymous

"Violence is the last refuge of the incompetent."
- Issac Asimov

Anonymous said...

Nadine is busy doing her job managing the administration. And she is doing it very well. It's not her job to be in the public spotlight.

Anonymous said...

Every time I get a new email from the Barca campaign I expect that this time heʻll be talking about an issue or issues.
Fuk, if I want to see someone on a canoe I can go down to the beach.
Enuff already. Doesnʻt work for me. Too chicken to post his views / solutions? Or does he have any?

Anonymous said...

Dustin Barca thinks climate change is a hoax.