Dairy development would be good development

To produce real, nutritious milk, two healthy mama cows — contented belle and boss — need a little over an acre on which to graze. They need a clean barn to come home to, to be milked and fed supplements during the process.

In high-tech barns, they get a quick exit shower to freshen them as they wend their way into the day.

Inside, people clean up after them. Mama cows are not potty trained. These guys bag the stuff and sell it to farmers who use it to fertilize their organic gardens. Health and happiness is the essence here and those sweet mama cows can live productive lives for 13 or 14 years.

The milk so generously gifted is sent down the road to be pasteurized, to be bottled and home delivered, sold to stores, shipped off island or kept at the farm to be sipped in a soda fountain designed to delight the eye and tummy of tourist and local folks alike — especially kids. Remember milkshakes?

It’s the only real dairy in the state. Many milk products are created here. Cheese. Ice cream. Butter. A new industry and a tourist attraction are created.

It’s a world-class show place. People come from all over to see it.

It’s a win/win/win. Jobs. Money. Green grass in the fields keeping fresh air fresh.

Visitors arrive in buses. Two trams — Nani and Hoohaku — belong to the dairy and haul in lots of bucks and contributions. Pretty local girls and handsome guys — drivers — love to talk story about how this wonder came about and make sure their passengers note how little space the parking lot and road take. Not much concrete here.

Two thousand mama cows on 3,000 acres are the island — and the state — pride and joy. Their beloved babies, before they’re sold — the farm tries to find them good homes — bring joy to all who watch them gambol.

It’s a glorious piece of nature and it’ll remain in place forever.

A destination, movie stars and models come. Even Prince George and Princess Charlotte. Every tour agent in the world sings its praise.

Long pause.

Why doesn’t it happen?

Well, in Hawaii, we have a hard and fast rule. Land must be put to highest and best use.

What is highest and best use?

Development, of course. Three thousand acres! Six thousand houses with two cars in every garage. Paved streets. Underground utilities and water in every tub.

Landowners, contractors, Realtors, get rich. The state gets rich. Property tax is money you know, which it will need to create and clean up this endeavor.

It needs a new police and fire station. It has roads to maintain and repair. Foul air to deal with. Traffic jams and suburban sprawl to uglify the landscape.

And, once this development is complete, it’s time to find more land to concrete coat.

On our precious island paradise, as in the rest of the country, money trumps health and happiness. Every time.

•••

Bettejo Dux is a resident of Kalaheo and author of “The Scam: A Madcap Romp through North Shore Kauai.”

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