Kalalau problems are nothing new

Your May 27 article (about the state government’s woes in Kalalau Valley) gave me great amusement.

For many years Hawaii’s judges, politicians and lawmakers have followed policies that promote and encourage public trespassing on private lands and a tremendous amount of damage has resulted.

As a ranch foreman, I personally dealt with all of the kinds of destruction that Curt Cottrell discusses, plus a lot more that he doesn’t mention.

Now the state government is getting a richly deserved dose of the same nasty medicine that it routinely inflicts on private land owners. Turnabout is fair play. I frankly think this situation is hilarious.

This doesn’t mean that I have any love at all for the Napali Coast lowlifes. I have clashed repeatedly with their kind in the past.

But the hard, fast truth remains, that most of these squatters are smart, tough, resourceful and highly adaptable: and their near-total lack of morality makes some of them extremely dangerous.

The state will catch a few unlucky or stupid ones, from time to time, but most of the hardcore types will continue to evade capture.

A few additional comments are in order.

First, this situation is not new: It has been worsening for decades.

Some 20 years ago, when I was scouting for endangered species on the Napali Coast, I discovered the remains of an abandoned crystal methamphetamine laboratory, high up in a small valley between Hanakapiai and Hanakoa.

Lying in the middle of that mess were two of the thickest and heaviest chemical-resistant rubber gloves that I ever saw in my entire life.

Heaven only knows what kind of toxic junk was leaching into the watershed of that tiny creek.

Now to summarize this whole matter.

1) For decades, the Napali Coast scumbags have run rings around the state government’s law enforcement efforts.

2) There is every reason to believe that they will continue to do so in the future.

3) The Napali Coast Geekery will continue to be the dominant presence in that area, long after the state’s present law-enforcement spasm has ended.

P.S. The only people I feel sorry for, in all of this, are the lawmen. They are being sent to do an extraordinarily difficult job, with totally inadequate support from the judges, politicians, and lawmakers.

•••

Keith Robinson lives on Niihau.

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