Big changes are ahead for North Shore Kauai now that Jeff Stone has teamed up with a Thai-Chinese billionaire to develop a “low-density resort community” at Princeville to be unveiled early next year.
In other words, there go the mauka lands for more gentleman estates.
As reported by Pacific Business News and the Star-Advertiser — but not The Garden Island — Stone sold 1,103 acres, including the Prince Golf Course, to billionaire Chanchai Ruayrungruang's Reignwood International investment group for $343 million. Stone's Resort Group will retain ownership of 7,100 acres.
Fortunately, like all the other developers who come to Kauai, Ruayrungruang is “excited to be part of the Kauai and Hawaii communities.” Why? Because “[t]he island’s natural beauty is spectacular, and its open countryside translates well to our sustainability goals for our communities.”
In other words, they'll be able to sell the raw land at a large profit for years to come.
But don't worry, they have only the best in mind:
“We’re committed to preserving Princeville’s regal heritage and cultural roots,” [Ni Songhua, the London-based head of global investments and acquisitions for Reignwood] said. “We believe that Reignwood’s profound respect for Hawaiian history, along with our green vision for the future, will help to advance the long-term vision of Mr. Stone.”
In other words, they'll keep it upscale, use Hawaiian names for the streets, generate plenty of service jobs for the locals and make a pile of kala. So glad, to use Stone's words, that he found “investors who love our place." Cuz we wouldn't want any of the usual shuck-and-jivers coming in.
A few weeks ago, I wrote a post about how Kauai got shucked and jived by Vandana Shiva, whose schtick was revealed by Michael Specter in the New Yorker. And like clockwork, Vandana responded with a 5,000 word rebuttal — published on the obscure Permaculture Research Institute website — in which she trashed Specter and his journalism in the very first paragraph.
In other words, Spector was right on target when he said it's a classic strategy of Shiva and others in the anti-GMO movement to attack and attempt to publicly discredit anyone who dares to disagree with their skewed version of the “truth.” I've experienced it countless times myself, most recently on Tim Bynum's Facebook post, when Lyn McNut, a card-carrying member of the KKCR echo chamber, left a comment: “Stop following Joan. No longer journalism.”
Yes, I magically went from a journalist that Lyn lauded to one no longer worth reading solely because I exposed the deception and bullshit of Gary Hooser, Tim Bynum and the Kauai anti-GMO movement. Now I see similar attacks being levied against Allan Parachini for speaking up. Doncha just love open minds and respect for different points of view?
Which leads me to a comment that Michael Salling left on one of my Facebook posts about the pesticide/GMO debate that is dividing our community:
Exactly what is the middle ground?
It's a good question, and one that should be discussed.
But how do you have such discussions when the anti side is so heavily populated by people like Lyn, who totally shut out anything that differs from their point of view? And folks like Dorothy “Lady Light” Kulick, who leaves newspaper comments urging people to do “WHATEVER IT TAKES” to stop biotech? Or vindictive fanatics like Malama Kauai's Megan Pittsley Fox, who tried to destroy Johnny Gordine's flower business by leaving disparaging reviews on Yelp after he urged the Council to “vote no” on 2491? Or groups like Maui's SHAKA Movement, which blithely promulgates bald-faced lies in their attempts to raise money?
Which leads me to Gary's latest scheme to publicly grandstand and talk stink about big ag on TV before the election, using as a soapbox the Economic Development (Sustainability / Agriculture / Food / Energy) & Intergovernmental Relations Committee he chairs. He has scheduled the following for Oct. 9:
A non-decision making, informational workshop to discuss water issues in Kaua’i’s Puna District which have been raised by the community group Hui Ho’opulapula Na Wai o Puna (“Hui”). The Workshop is being held so that the Committee can become better informed and to engage the community in the broader issue.
For those unfamiliar, the Puna District is the eastside. And of course it's non-decision-making, because the state Water Commission has kuleana over water use and water allocation. This is just an election year dog-and-pony show intended to give Gary another platform.
It's the exact same scenario as the pesticide/GMO issue: the state won't play their game, so they come knocking at the Council's door and swell-head Gary is happy to open it up. Tim has already said the next big battle will be over water.
In other words, mundane stuff like landfills and roads and speed limits and feral cats just isn't sexy enough for Councilmen who have basked in the glow of national and state spotlights.
Sadly, most farmers and ditch men won't show up to give these people a reality check so they'll get to make all sorts of unchallenged claims on the TV cameras as Gary nods and looks oh-so-very concerned and promises to do something that he can't if folks just vote him in for another term.