The full page ad that Hawaii Life Real Estate Brokers ran in the local paper speaks volumes about the socioeconomic changes under way on Kauai (click on graphic to enlarge):
I love sunshine. I love hiking to secret spots and running with my dogs. I love a good book read from a hammock. I love yoga, and pilates. I love my work and the people I work with, and a company that supports this in every way. I love Poipu and the many people that love it too. Yes, I certainly do love my Hawaii Life!
Notice the pricey price tags on the houses, and the complete absence of any reference to volunteerism, giving back, agriculture, mingling with the larger community or multiculturalism, much less the indigenous culture. It's all about indulging one's own little narcissistic desires in a resort town that could be Anywhere Sunny USA.
Yup, that's Hawaii Life — the agency that supports the anti-GMO movement, mayoral hopeful Dustin Barca and sweeping changes in real life on Kauai. In addition to the $5,300 in Hawaii Life donations previously reported, Melissa Norman, whose husband Neal
started [correx: works for] Hawaii Life, recently gave Dustin $1,000. Pierce Brosnan's wife, Keely,
kicked down $500.
The Hawaii Life ad stands in stark contrast to a recent Civil Beat article about yet another family driven out of Hawaii by the high cost of living. It prompted kanaka maoli Hale Mawae to comment:
Why not do a story about a "real" Hawaiian family that is struggling and are forced to move from their actual home because of the illegal occupation. Not some transient Haole family that moves here because of some self-inflated dream of living in the illusion that is paradise. Let's keep it real people!
Indeed. Which is why I had to raise my eyebrows at an ad that Councilman Gary Hooser ran where he made no mention at all of his instrumental role in Bill 2491 — “The Great Divide” — and described his past life as “business owner” rather than Realtor. Gee, Gary, do you think people's memories are really that short?
Gary, who scored sixth in the primary and was running in the red, put out a desperate appeal for cash that garnered him $6,602 in contributions that qualify for matching state funds. His donors include Realtors, anti-GMO activists from the Big Island and Kauai and attorney Lance Collins, who staged the bogus challenge to the county's procurement of pro bono legal services to defend Bill 2491 while claiming he had no connection to Gary. Uh huh....
First-time Council candidate Arryl Kaneshiro, meanwhile, brought in $8,345 that qualified for matching funds, much of it from small donors, and not one from a resident north of Anahola.
Councilman Mel Rapozo, the top vote-getter in the primary, reported $4,760 in qualifying contributions. Councilman Tim Bynum, who came in seventh, collected $4,613 in qualifying contributions and Councilwoman JoAnn Yukimura brought in $4,415.
Councilman Mason Chock picked up just $1,875 in qualifying matching contributions, less than Felicia Cowden, the twelfth-place challenger who got $3,049 from her primarily North Shore supporters.
Felicia, meanwhile, seems to have hit on a way to woo the Filipino vote that ignored her in the primary: tag on a few lines in her newspaper ads. Because, of course, none of them can speak English.
Council candidates KipuKai Kualii, Darryl Perry and Arthur Brun, who scored eighth, ninth and eleventh, respectively, in the primary, did not seek matching funds, and neither did Councilmen Jay Furfaro and Ross Kagawa.