Saturday, November 7, 2015

Musings: Sky Show and Rebuttal

The pre-dawn skies have been magnificent and are becoming even more so, as a waning moon joins the brilliant array of Jupiter, Venus and Mars in the east. I've been watching these planets dance for a couple of weeks now, and it's all made more magical with the addition of that silvery crescent.

I got an email from Ted Blake, rebutting points made in Wednesday's "Readers Write" post, in which a resident criticized the HoloHolo Kauai Scenic Byways project in Koloa. The original reader's comments are in green, with Teddy's response in red:

A spokesman [Ted Blake] for the sponsoring organization (who, by the way, may get to collect a pretty hefty tax dollar funded-fee)
All funds for a successful run at a designation were raised by Mālama Kōloa. There has been zero assistance from the Federal, State or County Government and nor did we ask for assistance. There is no “hefty tax dollar funded-fee.”
called the project “a grand slam because it highlights our history.” The spokesman went on to say, “How many people here know the history of where they were born?
You will have an opportunity to increase your knowledge of Kōloa tenfold. To gain Respect and Pride for our community and moku o Kōloa.

How many know the traditional place names here?”
Many coastal names are known by their popular monickers i.e., Heroins, Acid Drop, Cow Head and Helicopters. The majority populace in our community do not know the traditional names are Ka lae Kiki, Ekaha, Lae o Kaʻōpua and Lae o Kamilo nor what they signify and mean.
Likely not any more than residents of Honolulu, Kaneohe or Lahaina know about their places, so what’s the big deal?
The big deal is rediscovering or discovering ʻAina Aloha and ʻAina Momona. Traditional names give a sense of place and enlightens what you know about the place.

Continuing to sell, the spokesman said, “I think we are the only tourist destination in Hawaii that’s surrounded by all this.” Yeah, right. Ever been to Kona, or South Kohala?
The history of Kōloa is a microcosm of Hawaiʻiʻs history. A majority of what happened in early post-contact Hawaiʻi occurred first in Kōloa. It is this fact that makes Kōloa itself special to our pae ʻaina!
We want; presenting another option of places to visit and learn about our history, heritage and culture while vacationing on Kauaʻi. Our marketing strategy is to attract and appeal to visitors that are here visiting on island. We look upon the Kauaʻi Visitors Bureau and the Poʻipū Beach Resort Association as partners and we bring another sales tool to their marketing tool chest.

So what is the Grand Delusion? The project was sold to the community /elected officials
Holoholo Kōloa is a Community Based plan proposed directly to Mālama Kōloa on March 1, 2011, by Kashmira Reid, HI Scenic Byway Consultant. She knew of our work of our hui and was hoped to us to generate interest for us to take the leadsponsor position and go after a designation. (Mālama Kōloa was recommended to Kashmira Reid as the lead agency by the County of Kauaʻiʻs Department of Public Works, Planning and the Mayorʻs office)
as a means to highlight our heritage resources;preserving/enhancing cultural, historical, scenic and archeological sites. Sounds good.
Holoholo Kōloa Scenic Byway route encompasses 19.5 miles throughout nā ahupuaʻa of Mahaʻulepū, Pāʻā, & Kōloa. Of the six intrinsic quality categories, highlighted along the route are 67 Historical, 26 Cultural, 21 Archaeological, 17 Scenic and a combined 19 Geographical or Natural sites. All within a one and a half mile radius of each other. HI Scenic Byway Consultant, Kashmira Reid and National Consultant, Bob Kull predicted Holoholo Kōloa to be one of the top five heritage tourist destinations in Hawaiʻi in the USA within in a couple of years after entering the program.

Island leaders jumped on the project, making speeches, supporting resolutions, giving accolades.
Island leaders jumped on the project”. Not so. We meet and shared our vision and plans early on for a Holoholo Kōloa with Senator Inouye (August 2012), our present State Legislative Delegation (April 2012), Representative Tulsi Gabbard February 2012, Mayor Carvalho and Department Heads four times over the course of three years. Numerous planning and statistical meetings held with Public Works, Kauaʻi Police Department, Kauaʻi Bus and the State Department of Transportation for approval and information.

An official said, “It’s just another example of how we continue to preserve and recognize our culture --- and never forgetting.”
On Kauaʻiʻs south shore we mālama wahi pana, culture and heritage and take this kuleana seriously!
The initial committee of the whole meetings averaged about 42 attendees representing 34 non-profits, organizations, area businesses, government and hotel/condominium managers.

Oh really? Read into the requirements for Federal Byway designation (which Koloa has received) to learn that byway designation comes with requirements like submitting a MARKETING NARRATIVE. A document describing how the scenic road will be marketed and publicized, including what is in place and what is planned. A PROMOTIONAL PLAN. Describing how the scenic road will be promoted, interpreted and marketed to ATTRACT travelers, including those from other countries. A MULTILINGUAL INFORMATION PLAN. Addressing multilingual information needs. And finally a TOURISM PLAN that describes how increased tourism will be accommodated, what lodging and dining facilities, roadside rest areas, parking lots and other tourist necessities are in place or planned.
Every one of the points capitalized aboved have been addressed in our 210 page Corridor Management Plan (CMP) which is included on our website.. A CMP is required by the lead agency to move a nomination the next level of the designation process. The plan is being paid entirely by funds raised from Foundations, Individuals and Businesses.

Interestingly enough, there is very little describing how the host community is supposed to benefit nor how full time residents are expected to cope. One would expect a plan of this nature to be funded and promoted by area business/resort interests, not by a community based non-profit.
A detailed MARKETING NARRATIVE is addressed in the CMP. What economic stimulant Ke Ala Hele Makalai is to Kapaʻa, Waipouli and Wailua? Holoholo Kōloa brings more to Kōloa with a broader base of restaurants, area businesses, tours and tourist destinations activities i.e., Ziplines, ATVs, Garden tours, Cultural and Heritage tours, Shopping Centers and ocean activities. Advertisements by these sectors will help defray Holoholo Kōloa daily expenses

What this REALLY is, is a tax dollar funded (80% federal/20% state) plan to attract more tourists to the South side with little regard for an already overtaxed and degraded infrastructure or for the negative impacts sure to be felt by the area’s full time residents.
There is no mention of raising taxes nor will there be any raising local taxes to fund any CMP projects. Our request for funding on approved CMP projects are made directly to the FHA Scenic Byway Funds. Federal monies to fund approved CMP projects are not awarded as a match. Funds come from a fund setup by Congress for the Federal Highway Administrationʻs National Scenic Byway Funding Program.
Holoholo Kōloa will be another source of funding for Koloa projects that currently is not available to the County of Kauaʻi. There are three projects in this fiscal yearʻs budget for Kukuiʻula, Kōloa and Poʻipu with an estimated cost of over over $30 million.

Oh, the sponsor has also been put in charge of a to be created “area tr.olley service,” paid for by who knows who (maybe tax dollars again?) which is supposed to be the answer to the traffic woes sure to come.
Quoting the State of Hawaiʻi Scenic Byway website, “Hawaii’s Scenic Byways Program  showcases roads throughout Hawaii that have an important story to tell to both local residents and visitors. These roads hold more than what meets the eye — their archaeological, cultural, historic, natural, recreational and/or scenic qualities are of statewide and quite probably National significance. The byway sponsor groups manage their scenic byways to protect and enhance them through collaborations with government agencies and business and community groups. Hawaii joined the National Scenic Byways Program in 2009, and participates with other U.S. States, National Parks and other Federal land agencies, Native American tribes as well as with Canada and Japan.”

For years, residents and visitors speak of Kōloa, Poʻipū and Kukuiʻula being overrun and overdeveloped.
Kōloa the only tourist destination with bypass roads on the east and west of our resort area in the State of Hawaiʻi.
We have a solid attractive visitor infrastructure.
We lead the island in average annual occupancy and the highest average paid rates.
More real property taxes are generated here than any other region on Kauaʻi.
It is the regionʻs largest employer
Holoholo Kōloa give us the opportunity to make lemonade out of all of this and we are using the resources we have to accomplish this. That traffic is increasing and is pointed in the direction of congestion, especially the resort areas, we have four studies we have undertaken as a community, (1. Koloa-Poʻipū-Kukuiʻula Circulation Plan 2. Coastal Bike and Pedestrian Way Plan 3. Sidewalks along Poʻipū Road 4. Safe Route to School and Smart Streets in Kōloa Town)

Most of the down home long time residents don’t even know what a scenic byway is, let alone that Koloa has one.
See above quote.
In the name of transparency, the project’s Corridor Management Plan, describing for what, where and how much ( tax dollars ) are to be spent should be posted on the sponsor’s website.
Holoholo Koloa website has been under construction since September 1 and should be up and running in three weeks. The website expense has been paid by funds raised privately by Mālama Kōloa. The CMP will be online in it entirety.

Recently one of Hawaii’s leading economists, in a speech to business and government
leaders, pointed out that Kauai County compared with other counties is the most dependent upon tourism. The speaker urged that steps be taken to diversify Kauai’s economy against the time when dollars created by tourism begin to diminish.
We are maximizing our effort to appeal and attract the top echelon of visitors, offering the best cultural and heritage destination in Hawaiʻi nei. The world trend is recognizing cultural and heritage tourism as the most sought after destinations.

So dear readers, decide for yourselves: another grand delusion?



Anonymous said...

Is this where those totem poles are?
Looks pretty. Now if they could only let us know how Brenneckes Restaurant gets to use up all of the public parking, it might bring a little interest.
But gotta hand to those Koloa guys, they certainly put up a nice looking thing, that no one has any clue what it is. Except it looks like an old fish pond. There are a few fishponds up and down the coast, at least the ones Sugar didn't run over.
Have a little Mullet?

Anonymous said...

Yup, here's another example of people shooting off their mouth before doing any fact finding or research on the subject matter. Mouth in gear before brain goes on - strictly emotion. Thats why this column is so entertaining, besides thought provoking (kudos to you, Joan). Every recent subject matter - GMO, TVR, feral cats, county manager, ad nauseum - shows it. Can you imagine the energy thats wasted by these close minded people? But the big picture of reality - you can't please all of the people all of the time, so keep on truckin folks!

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

I'm so happy we have Exxon and Monsanto and DuPont and Halliburton to keep the economy rolling.

Anonymous said...

Acid Drop, Heroin's, Cowshead, Helicopters are all surf breaks and nobody would give a rip what their actual place name was or is if they weren't. Surf jargon of a sort describing the wave or specific spot of reef for a particular wave.

Anonymous said...

reading with interest the exchange about the scenic byway. agree with the writer . some observations. blake says no tax dollars involved in paying for the application nor is there any tax funded management fee. the writer was talking about who will be paying for the byway project not who paid for the application. further on, blake says funding for $30 million dollars worth of projects (tax dollars) have been requested from the Federal Highway Administration. common practice is that a sponsor can bill the funding source for services, in the realm of 15% - 17% of project funding ( $4.5 - $5.1 million dollars) , not chump change. looking at it from another angle, both the writer and blake make it clear that this is a plan to increase and enhance tourism on the south shore, period. the tab will not paid by the tourism guys but by our tax dollars. especially disturbing to me as a Hawaiian is here is a case where the Hawaiian language, Hawaiian places, Hawaiian culture and Hawaiian history is used as the carrot to sell something devoid of any benefit to Hawaiians; other than a job driving a bus or greeter at the door. this from man claiming to trace his lineage back 65 generations. ?

grand delusion? yes

Anonymous said...

Whats the with the RED type?

Anonymous said...

I thought holo holo kauai was supposed to help the cultural stuff the hawaiian stuff. look like bulls___t. not for the people all for the haoles. using hawaiians . shame

Dawson said...

3:28PM wrote:
Whats the with the RED type?

1) Color blindness test -- you passed.
2) Conrow's a commie.
3) Nothing says Christmas like red and green.
4) Redshirt fistees hacked Joan's computer.
5) To differentiate between the original reader's comments in green, and Ted Blake's responses in red, as was stated in the blog.
6) None of the above.

Kalaiwaka said...

Congratulations and credit to Malama Koloa, a community group that stood up, did the heavy lifting, and both started and completed a major project to preserve and protect the history of its community. These Islands and this place have an important tale to tell, and if this generation doesn't stand up and tell the story, there won't be a story--just another sunny resort area full of people from somewhere else. And a lot of wisecracking mynah birds who never step forward when the work presents itself. Thanks to Ted for all the work, and to Joan for printing both the nasty complaint and the full response.

Anonymous said...

7:06 am - Totem poles? Do your homework before you speak. Shame on you. Different project with immeasurable historic significance.

Anonymous said...

started, completed? come down, check it out. never even start yet. follow the money

Anonymous said...

All we see in the red print is money, money , money, attract more visitors, more money, double talk. The cycle of destruction will change koloa/poipu forever. Like Kailua Kona, Lahaina , Hanalei? Even native sites are being exploited as chum. Protecting the past is good, using them as bait to attract flies is not. Like the red print says, its just another marketing tool. The price to be paid will be hoards of tourists clogging roads and trampling across the land. Maybe just leave things hidden in the haole koa.

Anonymous said...

comparing the east side coastal path and the holo holo byway is like comparing apples and oranges. the kealia path is for posterity, benefitting the people of kauai. holo holo byway benefits the tourist establishment, period!

Anonymous said...

comparing the east side coastal path and the holo holo byway is like comparing apples and oranges. the kealia path is for posterity, benefitting the people of kauai. holo holo byway benefits the tourist establishment, not the residents.

Anonymous said...

our tax money going pay for holo holo kauai for bring more tourists something wrong. make the hotels pay. not us

Anonymous said...

OK, Ted the Fake, err Blake. Fans waiting to see the byway Corridor Management Plan you promised weeks ago. We like see how you goin spend our tax money, so no play foget.
Friends of Koloa