Gosh, Kauai Realtor Neal Norman has made more money hawking "da aina" than anyone else in the state.
Guess the commissions from all those top-dollar celebrity second homes add up.
Meanwhile, the company he works for, Hawaii Life, has now extended its reach from the North Shore out to the westside, where it can work its gentleman's estate magic on more ag land:
So now that Neal is #1 – in real estate sales, anyway — and Hawaii Life owner Justin Britt won the medical marijuana dispensary license, do you suppose they might do a little sumpin' for the community? Maybe set a good example?
Like removing the sand bags from that beautiful beach in front of Neal's Haena home.
As I previously reported:
Kauai County and the state Department of Land and Natural Resources allowed the landowners to install a sandbag revetment in front of five contiguous oceanfront lots. The county issued a Special Management Area emergency permit for what was supposed to be a temporary fix.
[t]he expiration date shall be December 12, 1997; and the permittee during the one year timeframe for this authorization shall prepare a shoreline survey and work to resolve the shoreline emergency through the appropriate permitting process.”
But they're still there, deteriorating into ocean debris and accelerating erosion along that coastline, as Neal and his cronies merrily make a fortune in real estate.
Back in March, the state went out to set the shoreline for that stretch of coast. It confirmed that the rotting sandbags are, indeed, smack dab on the public beach. As state surveyor Reid Siarot wrote me in an email:
The shoreline for KA-405 was determined using current and historical shorelines and delineated along the top of bank and 2008 and 2010 certified shorelines. The geotextile sand bag revetment was identified on the makai side of the shoreline and the shoreline encroachment must be resolved prior to the chairperson certifying the shoreline. The [landowners'] surveyor has not submitted the revised maps and has not resolved the encroachment with DLNR.
So how long do you suppose Neal and his neighbors will drag this out? Another nine years? What will it take to hold his feet to the fire, and remove that mess? Where's the outcry from all the aina saviors on the North Shore?
The other day someone left a comment about how I'd supposedly changed since they'd worked with me on shoreline protection issues. I knew they were full of it, because almost nobody has actually worked on shoreline issues. Oh, they love to talk, but it's been a handful of us keeping it front and center. And we haven't gotten one speck of support from the 2491 loudmouths, like Felicia Cowden, Fern Rosenstiel, the Hooser clan or Dustin Barca.
Have you ever seen The Garden Island report on shoreline issues, other than Terry Lilley's wild ravings about the reef?
But just the other day, one of Dustin's pals, Jesse Steele, sent me a nasty message about how I could take my “writing skills and shove them deep” because my words are “irrelevant to the cause” — what, the self-aggrandizement cause? — and he was tired of me “writing shit” about his friend Dustin.
You mean, like how Neal's wife and agents from Hawaii Life helped bankroll Dustin's failed mayoral campaign?
Do you suppose that has anything to do with the unwillingness of the 2491 crowd to speak up about wealthy landowners taking over the public beach, gentrifying the aina that they dream of turning into small organic communes? It sure seems like those topics would be relevant to a legit "aloha aina warrior."
But hey, we know the score. Even if they don't.