Saturday, February 1, 2014



It's hard to tell exactly what's going down up there from down here but one thing is clear- there is some bad mojo surrounding Koke`e these days, much of it at the hands of one Frank Hay, friend of the chemical companies, the military and other Westside abominations.

Not to mention the state Department of Land and Natural Resources (DLNR) which, while the people of Kaua`i have always seen the trees and recreational opportunities, sees only dollar signs.

Hay- the  President of the Hui O Laka Museum's Board of Trustees*- is the one who almost single-handedly removed long time museum Executive Director Marsha Erickson recently.

Many say that in part it's because she supported the pesticide-and-GMO-disclosing, buffer-zone-creating, study-enabling Bill 2491... that and her support of those who have opposed the massive commercial development of Koke`e that's been proposed by the DLNR for many years.

And Erickson may not have been the only one purged- others say they have been summarily removed from the mountain one way or another through various efforts of Hay, the DLNR and their minions.

But although Hay has attempted to obscure the reasons for Erickson's departure it may be becoming clearer with unconfirmed reports that the lodge has been taken over by Aston Resorts and the CCC Camp- which Erickson brought back from the dead during her Koke`e tenure- is the target of a takeover by the state's nebulous Agrobuniness Development Corporation (ADC).

The ADC is another one of those "Public Land Development Corporation (PLDC)-type state creations that leases "state" land (actually stolen Hawaiian land) and, perhaps unconstitutionally, bypasses local land use laws.

While the PLDC was repealed by the state legislature last year the ADC continues to operate under the radar of most activists, leasing out much of the land used by the chemical companies for their genetically modified (GM) foods and related restricted-use-pesticide (RUP) experiments, with sweetheart deals at outrageously low prices.

In addition the chemical companies' new best friend, Koke`e State Representative Dee Morikawa- who has introduced and vehemently defended a bill in the state legislature to essentially overturn Bill 2491 (now ordinance 960) and a Hawai`i Island ordinance banning new open-air GM experiments- has introduced a bill to abolish the Koke`e State Advisory Council

At one time back in the 60's residents had to battle to stop plans for making Koke`e a national park and allowed the state to take over as an alternative. And ever since the state has eyed the Kaua`i playground as a cash cow.

Despite adamant opposition by that pesky advisory council and the near unanimous opposition by the island-wide community to plans that include concessions at the lookouts, turning the lodge into a hotel and putting a gate up to charge admission, the Board of Land and Natural Resources (BLNR) has, of late, unilaterally pushed forward with their commercialization plans which had been abandoned due to opposition over and over for decades.

It's been hard enough to keep the city and county at bay. They seem to have some kind of entitlement mindset that says that going in and taking whatever you want without asking is not just okay but that it's us that are exhibiting a lack of aloha for saying "no"- as the battles over the SuperFerry and the current undersea electric cable have so well crystallized.

But when Morikawa- the very one elected to protect Koke`e- turns Benedict Arnold on us our chances at protecting what makes Kaua`i special approach zero.

Note: the original has been edited to remove the statement that Frank Hay is the current head of the Koke`e Advisory Council. We apologist for the error.
Note: the original has been edited to remove the statement that Frank Hay is the current head of the Koke`e Advisory Council. We apologist for the error.


Andy Parx said...

I'm not sure how to link to it but a very interesting and informative discussion of the takeover of Koke`e and the effort to disband the Koke`e advisory council is posted on Gary Hooser's Facebook page under the post that begins "HB1824 Abolishing the Koke‘e State Park Advisory Council is scheduled to be heard on Monday Feb. 3," Right now it's the second one down. Especially note some of the comments by advisory board member Erik Coopersmith.

Andy Parx said...

Here's a direct link"