HARDENED BONEHEADS: It’s nani-nani-boo-boo time for us today as the Naue cemetery desecration case came to fruition in court yesterday.
As we reported first by delineating a letter from OHA on July 10, the shenanigans of developer Joe Brescia and his henchwoman Nancy “Igor” McMahon violated various provisions of rules and laws.
As Joan Conrow said this morning in referring to the property rights nutsos who have been defending and singing the praises of Brescia and McMahon::
“OK, get out your chili pepper water, your A-1 sauce or your other favorite condiment. Because it’s time to eat some crow — and not the Alala kine, since it’s almost extinct.
Although the ruling was vintage, archetypical Judge Kathleen Wantanabe in it’s equivocations in favor of bureaucratic deference, the ruling confirmed that the desecration of the cemetery at Naue was never legal even according to the administrative procedures much less the state law and constitution.
Because she was a typical gutless government attorney throughout her career, by predilection it seems it never occurred to Judge Wantanabe that she could strike down the “ad rules” that she instead said should be changed legislatively in part because they violate the laws and constitutional provisions.
The ruling is well reported by others today so we won’t detail it here but we can’t wait for the spectacle of next Kaua`i Burial Council meeting, which if they’re smart they’ll hold at the convention hall or stadium.
And of course we anticipate quite the crowd at the planning commission whose discussion of the legitimacy of the construction permits has been on hold pending the ruling that invalidates an essential component- a valid burial plan..
And we’re pretty sure there are prohibitive odds against State Archeologist Nancy McMahon coming in anywhere but last in this Saturday’s council election after the full blame for the mess was deposited at her doorstep.
The only question left is whether her negligence and malfeasance rose to a level that she doesn’t have any immunity against a lawsuit by all sides.
Perhaps we’ll see a civil case with plaintiffs Jeff Chandler and Joe Brescia vs. respondent Nancy McMahon in the near future. Only a complete twit like McMahon could bring those two together on something.
But even though the desecration and destruction is essentially halted for now- though in a typical Wantanabe-istic non-ruling ruling- what strikes us through all of this is the antiseptic way the press, even our friend Joan (although just quoting Wantanabe), has fallen into a pattern of describing the actual desecratory construction last month.
Here’s some snippets from Joan’s post.
Wantanbe also said that doesn’t mean he was authorized to start pouring his foundation, effectively capping some seven iwi in concrete so he could erect pilings for his house...
“While the burials were preserved, they were not authorized according to law and it could be argued that construction of jackets constitutes alteration,” Watanabe said...
The Council could take any number of steps, she said, such as having the jackets taken off the iwi and removing the seven burials that are now under the house and reinterring them elsewhere.
Blogger Charley Foster, who despite his protestations has decidedly sided with the developer, used the words “after jackets and footings were already poured” in a comment although that can be expected.
But here’s a description from the article in the local paper today:
...a Burial Treatment Plan featuring vertical buffers for the house and protective concrete jackets for the iwi.
“Capping some seven iwi in concrete”? “Construction of jackets”? “Having the jackets taken off the iwi”? “Vertical buffers for the house and protective concrete jackets for the iwi”.?
What is with these antiseptic descriptions?. What Brescia apparently did was dig a freakin’ hole and pour concrete all over the bones- “coincidentally” right where they were pouring the concrete for the concrete foundation poles.
They all make it sound like anything but what it is.
There are no stupid “jackets”. Nothing was “capped”. And there were no “preservation measures”.
If we were to suggest the Arizona Memorial be “preserved” by slathering it in concrete we’d be strung up by the short and curlies.
At least malahini Advertiser reporter Diana Leong put the words "concrete jackets" and "buffer" in quotes in her piece this morning.
The news stories made clear that there was no order to stop but the proviso was that construction could continue only as long as there’s “no irreparable damage to the burials”
No one is pointing out the obvious- there was already irreparable harm because the way it’s described with “caps” and “jackets” and “buffers” and “pilings” it doesn’t let people know that they just poured cement over the bones.
This is a certainly a new idea in physical anthropology. Why we could “preserve” all artifacts forever by throwing them in a pit and sealing them in cement. Mayan ruins? Dinosaur bones? George Washington’s wooden teeth? Seal ‘um all in concrete. .
Since McMahon is going to be out of a job we may well be looking forward to the new Joe Brescia Memorial School of Wacko Anthropology... built of concrete.
And as for Brescia, well no one can say he hasn’t cemented relations between north shore developers and Kanaka community.