Wednesday, December 16, 2009


A LEG UP ON THE BONEHEADS: Joan Conrow’s blog has been the go to place for all things bike-path boardwalk-on-Wailua-Beach lately. But one click away from her most recent thoughtful reporting and opinion is a shit-storm of racism, white privilege and outright genocidal blather from a group of trolls we pretty much banished last year.

Joan’s whip and chair approach has tolerated a group of anonymous “I think that” commenters- hilarious in it’s not-so-oxy moronic content- that have gravitated to her site and caused most sane readers who want to stay that way to avoid clicking that comment button lest they boil their own blood.

But not Ann Punohu who has recently started up her Punohu’s Politics, Environment and Culture Blog and made the mistake of visiting Joan’s repository of wretched rhetoric.

Never one to back away from a good fight over cultural slights, Ann has posted a series of responses to some of the worst examples of why the word “haole” is often preceded by a certain adjective and awarded her Racist Residents Of The Year Award for 2009 to a couple of malahini morons.

“Al and Judy” actually said:

We certainly haven't come to Hawaii for the "culture". We hate Hawaiian music, food, cultural (pagan) practices, etc.

We love the ocean, air, tropical environment.

We've come here for years and now own property on a couple of islands. I'll make a bleedin' fortune in the next development boom with one of them.

Wouldn't mind if it looked like Malibu Beach, though.

Ann’s hilarious response was:

OK, It is official. Racists have landed on Kaua`i. And I don't mean the garden variety racist, I mean the full blown I am so proud of myself white supremacist racist

These people own property, and like the path on the beach. And they HATE Hawaiian history, or so they say.

Joan has a slight uku infestation on her blog. A group of "anonymous" posters who just like to yank everyone's chain.

Some of the posts were so ludicrous I really did think they were jokes.

Apparently though, these people are serious. And serious racists. They certainly tried to cook me over an open fire. Didn't work though. I give em right back...

Apparently Romper Room was in session over there, and the kids were throwing spitballs at the teacher, me.

I was just trying to stuff a little knowledge into their apparently racist heads, but they were so full of hot air there was no more room between their ears.

The question that must be asked in light of the divisiveness of the issue is a political one- why on earth would Mayor Bernard Carvalho risk his all-but-given reelection next year with two “that’s my story and I’m sticking to it” recent decisions, guaranteed to not just make people think twice before voting for him but to actually lose votes without any apparent political gain.

The decision to put the new landfill on arguably the most profitable in-use ag land on the island was bad enough but at least there it’s a matter of fulfilling a campaign promise and could even be seen by some to be a courageous decision that has been avoided by mayors and councils since Uncle Tony Kunimura’s days.

So why the boardwalk on the beach?

First of all we have to remember a key fact- one that the “multi use path” proponents would like to forget. In order to fulfill the requirements for initial $40 million in federal funds the path has to be primarily “for transportation, not recreation”.

It’s apparent by now that there is only one factor that matters in that determination and it seemingly has nothing to do with what anyone in government says about the path in selling it to the citizenry.

To be for transportation the path has to go from point “A”, just north of Kealia, to point “B” in Nawiliwili in a contiguous manner with no “breaks” .

People say “well why not go mauka as the path already does by going through the Safeway/Foodland parking lot and extend that “canal route” portion all the way past Coco Palms and simply re-cross the highway at the Wailua Homesteads traffic light rather than the Wailua Houselots light”?

Seemingly that wouldn’t be a problem and a decision by Carvalho to do so would be a politically wise one considering this is one of those “I’ll never vote for him again because of this” issues.

So what’s the catch? Well once the ins and outs as the path winds and wends it’s way through Kapa`a are settled there’s the matter of what happens to it at it’s current terminus at the Kamalani Bridge at the end of Lydgate Park when it currently loops back on itself.

Few were apparently paying attention to the future plans when the administration first made it’s proposal for a boardwalk on the beach, not on Wailua Beach but to get past the Wailua Golf Course.

It seemed that the alternatives were all bad ones when the administration went before the council a few years back to present the initial alternatives for the golf course section.

For anyone who hasn’t been down there the golf course goes right up to the beach where the greenery and grass ends and there’s a drop off onto the thin section of beach.

One proposal was to run the path along the edge of the grass. But that would be a lawsuit waiting to happen as soon as an errant golf ball hit one of those on the path. One solution proposed was to put up a 10 foot high fence but of course one of the most attractive things about the course that at one time won national honors is that you can see the ocean as you play and lose your ball in the ocean if you’re not careful.

That’s when the words “boardwalk on the beach” were first mentioned although the idea appeared ludicrous due to the continuous natural erosion of that strip of beach and land and the coming raise in sea levels that threaten coastlines all over the world.

Nonetheless that was when the “temporary” boardwalk, one that can be removed when a storm is threatening or if erosion catches up with the construction became the favored solutions despite concerns raised before the council by experts on coastal erosion about after more permanent sections were already completed, along with predictions of maybe a 10 year span of life before they become inundated.

The “it can be removed” part of the boardwalk concept is actually part of the EA no matter how apparently silly it sounds.

People opposing the boardwalk have missed a valuable argument in the fact that the “stakes” that are dug over the ‘iwi will not just be dug once and left there but could conceivably be taken up and put back on a semi-regular basis, especially if the waves themselves remove them

So the Wailua boardwalk is actually a test- one on a much wider section of beach- that, once it has been approved and laid will serve as a precedent when it comes to getting the path past the golf course.... and on down the coast where the topography is much the same and where the cost and difficulty of obtaining the land won’t be the impediment it appears to be now.

(By the way- does anyone know the status of a Conservation District Use Permit and/or DLNR approval?)

People are so focused on the cultural desecration involved that no one is even questioning the absurd engineering and environmental concept of putting a boardwalk on a beach that’s regularly inundated by the ocean..

Seems Bernard is apparently willing to take his lumps on this so he doesn’t have to answer for not completing the path.


Dr Freddy said...

Thanks for your enlightening if not maddening blog Andy.

I too believe that putting any structure on the beach is not too bright if you spend time studying what the ocean can and will do in time.

Punohu's Politics,Environment and Culture said...

Mahalo, Andy! I am continuing to attempt top be the uku shampoo to the uku infestation! Its kind of fun actually.

I continue to post, and they continue to pound. I love it. I am learning alot about social discourse with idiots!

God bless Joan for putting up with it all!

By the way I do have a meeting with the Mayor scheduled regarding "The Fourth Alignment." We will see.

Mele Kalikimaka, and keep it up Andy!

Punohu's Politics,Environment and Culture said...

An ode to Andy and Joan