So last night there was a meeting with the County's Open Space Commission at the Salt Pond Beach Park about expanding the Park. What a night it was...... I got there in a good mood and I left fussy.
Before the meeting I had a chance to talk to Representative Dee Morikawa for H District 16 Niihau, Lehua, Koloa, Waimea. I brought up 2 issues - first the homeless living in the Salt Patch and then the issues about the people driving on the sand. I left that conversation with a distaste in my mouth. She said I don't think it is illegal to drive on the sand on the west side of Kauai and that we should have a community meeting to discuss with the community what we the salt makers would like to do. HUH? When was a law created to only take care of 1/2 the island? Did I miss that memo?
What I really don't understand is the Salt Makers have been making salt in that area for 100's of years - I would think if anything the Salt Makers would be able to make the decisions on what is best for that area and the community knowing how important pa'akai is to our culture would understand that the decisions we make are what is best to help protect the salt patch. Not only that but it is the law not to drive on the beach so why do we as Salt Makers need to inforce that rule. When did it become our job to stop people from doing things that they not supposed to. Thats like asking us to stand on the road and stop cars that are using there cell phone.
Okay - so now that I am already fussy - meeting starts. The commission explains there ideas to expand the beach park - they also enforce there main goal is to protect and preserve hawaiian culture and places. Well then - the County can't even handle the park that is there now - from the leaky water pipes, over-following sewer, homeless, and cat problems and yet they want to expand so that the sewer can overflow faster - more homeless can move in - the cats can triple what they are now. HUMMMMMMM sounds like a great idea to me. That doesn't sound like they meeting there goals. Why not acquire the area and not do anything to it - let it sit as a buffer to protect the patches from the plantation.
Okay so I stated the case about the expansion of the park and County Council Members Kipu Kai and Mel Rapozo offered to stay and have a meeting about the issue's surrounding the salt patch. Our State Representative leaves, she doesn't stick around to hear all the problems we face - mind you the Salt Patch sits on State Land - not even County Land. But who stays for another 1 1/2 hour to listen to us bitch the County. The Salt Patch is surround by State, County, Plantation, DOT and yet we can't get everyone in the same room at the same time to come up with a plan to help protect it. Last night would have been great to be able to address our issues to both untities - but one runs away.
In the middle of all this - I bring up my favorite complaint - the cats - I think why I bring this up so much is because you all would think it would be an easy fix - yeah right. Last night sitting in the big pavillion talking about these issues there was 12 cats hanging out with us. 12 nasty cats. So I bring up the cats - you know what someone says - oh the cats are not a problem cause they control the rats. WHAT??? REALLY??? There is about 100 cats living at the park in the salt beds and we don't have a cat problem.
Besides all of this - I got to fight with some members who say "Kuulei does not represent the Salt Makers so don't listen to her" Well, last time I checked you weren't standing there fighting these issues so ALL of our future generations can enjoy this tradition and yet you want to sit in front of me and act like my issues are not valid?
Our drainage system doesn't work. We have homeless living in our salt beds. We have 100 cats that we can't get rid of. We have a sand bar that is fading away and not offering the protection it once did. We have an airport that follows no rules or guidelines. We have a crappy sewer system and water pipes that are breaking all the time. We have the plantation that doesn't have any guildlines when it comes to BMPs.
You want to sit back and do nothing? From our State Rep that can't sit another hour to listen to our complaints, to salt makers that would rather fight me because I talk to much, because I am not the right color, or because I was not raised correctly.
PLEASE I AM TIRED - I AM TIRED that I have to hold my tongue in front of you - that i can't call you all out - that you all think doing nothing is the solution. That I need to respect a board that doesn't even follow the rules and guidelines my grandmother help create. PLEASE - I am on a mission and believe me being respectful to people that can't respect my mission has gone out the door...