Friday, November 7, 2008


DOWN IN THE DARK MY BONE MILL ROLLS: From yesterday’s Kaua`i Burial Council meeting comes news via the local newspaper that ding-dong the wicked witch has resigned the chair because “life’s too short to put up with some of the things we put up with at the burial council.”

An odd choice of words indeed from Mark “Ainokea” Hubbard, the post around which the current revolving door of cronyism in Kaua`i government revolves, as we’ve detailed.

He has given up his post saying

“I was willing to run the meetings, but it’s not good to have a haole as the chair. You need to have a Hawaiian, a kupuna, to command some respect,” Hubbard said. “People were looking at council with disrespect just because I was the chair.”

Gee, ya think?

The fact is disrespect for Hubbard goes a lot deeper than his ethnicity- a contempt he has earned though his disrespectful actions toward the Kanaka community as well as the community at large.

The veep at Grove Farm- the old land-robbing plantation outfit that has been a prime actor in the genocide of the Hawaiian people for a century- still sits at the head of the Kaua`i (Lack of any Discernable) Ethics Board where he has refused to enforce the ethics law.

He actually tried to change the charter to allow him and his cronies to openly abuse their positions on the various board commissions and the county council this year.

But the defeat of the measure guarantees... well probably nothing.

Hubbard and his gang of disingenuous dullards are so bored of ethics that they have feigned ignorance- and of course have refused to release a county attorney’s opinion- as to what the law means when it says members of boards and commissions can’t represent private interests before other boards, commissions and administrative agencies

Despite Hubbard’s contention that the law is “too broad” and would cause those who serve to not be able to get a drivers’ license he schizophrenically admitted that the clause actually did do something by proposing an amendment to remove the clause from the charter that forbids conflicts.

The board actually cleared another good old boy, attorney Jonathan Chun- the chair of the Charter Commission that approved the proposed charter change- of ethics charges for extensively representing the Board of Realtors before the county council on the vacation rental bill earlier this year.

But despite the re-iteration of the law by the populace don’t expect Hubbard to change his ways should any complaint be filed when Chun appears before the Planning Commission at next week’s meeting representing another client

The Burial Council meeting itself was apparently an affair to remember in Hubbard’s absence, according to reporter Joan Conrow who described some real shenanigans in the infamous “capping” of the Naue kupuna iwi.

Apparently Mike Dega, the head of the contracted “archeological field crew”- i.e. construction workers- took it upon themselves to put a concrete slab over the ancestral bones, saying neither he nor state Archeologist Nancy McMahon approved the measure.

The real news- perhaps the only good thing in all of this- is that the cap, which from previous descriptions of the process we concluded actually encased the bones, was rather what was described as something similar to a “sewer cover” three feet above the bones which could be removed without disturbing the actual iwi.

But the unbelievable insensitivity in the description of the “caps” aside it remains to be seen if the Planning Commission will withdraw the permits because apparently Burial Council “approval” is one of the conditions for the “house” that developer Joe Brescia is trying to build on top of the cemetery.

One thing that seems to stick out like a skeletal hand reaching out from the ground is that the Planning Commission condition gives actual power to the Burial Council while the state- which created the body- treats them as advisory.

There doesn’t seem to be any law or rule against a county agency giving a state advisory council actual power for county purposes. But, according to the newspaper article Planning Commission Chair Steve Weinstein “(e)ven a violation would not guarantee revocation, as other mitigation measures can be considered.”

Translation? “We’ll probably do what we do whenever someone does something illegal- we’ll allow them to do it anyway if it’s in our power to do so- and sometimes even if it’s not.”

Another question is, based on our analysis yesterday of the new General Plan enforcement charter provision, one the planning department hasn’t dealt with at all- is Brescia’s “house” a “tourist accommodation” that would fall under the new law taking the power of approval away from the Planning Department?

If so, the processing of anything having to do with it should cease immediately if it is to comply with the law.

Although Brescia claims it is merely a huge single family residence Brescia’s other “houses” in the area have been serving as vacation rentals for years.

of course that presumes that anyone in Kaua`i county government even cares whether their activities meet legal requirements and standards..

As our friend Ace commented yesterday

Andy, Andy, Andy. You are ignoring the zeal with which the Planning Commission and the County Council tend to overlook such pesky things as laws, ordinances and charter amendments. One should not be surprised to see these folks do whatever they want and wait to be called on it. To which they will predictably respond, "So sue me".

Just more porridge to fill the Minotaur’s bowl.


Michael said...
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Andy Parx said...

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