Letter for Thursday, November 7, 2019

Tree massacre result of deception

I have always disliked the technique of trickery used by many — too many — people who want things “their way.” What I am referring to is: when someone wants to do something that may meet opposition, they do it without asking, or through deception before anyone knows the true intent. Then when they have what they want, they more or less say, “Oops, sorry.” Some of our Kauai residents knowingly use this technique and are willing to admit, “It’s a lot easier to just do it and say ‘sorry.’”

Unfortunately, many deceitful acts cannot be corrected. It seems that, recently, a property owner shamefully got what he wanted, which was by intentionally increasing a multi-million dollar estate’s value by improving the view. A large section on the makai side of the bike path was thoroughly massacred.

I doubt if the person that ordered the devastation would have done anything differently had he already known that those ironwood trees house an endemic bat habitat. Isn’t it true that the bats, threatened by extinction, were the only land mammals in Hawaii when voyagers arrived?

The early-morning walkers on the path often hear a concert of birds in the canopy. The shade from those trees is essential for the users of the bike path. The trees were immensely damaged because they were not trimmed as a professional arbor would have done.

I suspect that many trees will die and the ones that don’t will be trees that will no longer have a dominant central leader but will instead have multiple weakly attached branches which will in time create a hazard.

The tree massacre that was done last weekend to improve a view will in the future cause big problems. “Oops. Sorry.”

A huge mahalo to the mayor, County Council, and parks department for responding in a positive way, sharing our community’s grief, and making changes so that this never occurs again. We were all tricked.

Noreen Dougherty, Kapaa

8 Comments
  1. james November 7, 2019 8:07 am Reply

    While the trimming of invasive mature trees may be sad to some, maybe the trimming of these invasive, non-native trees is a good thing in the long run. Also, doesn’t a property owner have a right to trim their trees as long as no laws are broken? We need more concrete information as to whether any laws were broken before jumping to any conclusions.


    1. JAMES November 10, 2019 7:33 am Reply

      Now we have more facts and it turns out you were correct in your accusation that something was wrong. It was the Dept of Parks and Recreation that allowed this to happen. They totally dropped the ball. They will be cited and either be fined or required to mitigate the damage, or both. I now applaud your community activism.


  2. RG DeSoto November 7, 2019 9:17 am Reply

    “It seems that, recently, a property owner shamefully got what he wanted, …”
    Noreen…just whose name is on the title to this property? Yours, the “grieving community” or the legal property owner? Your pathetic rant seems to imply that somehow you have a right in this property and that the deeded, legal property owner’s rights are subordinate to yours and the social construct called the community. Sorry, but your opinion is reflective of a socialist mindset that would be more at home in Venezuela, Cuba or North Korea.
    Besides…aren’t the ironwoods you lament an invasive species?
    Quit whining already,
    RG DeSoto


    1. JAMES November 10, 2019 7:36 am Reply

      RG: I think you owe this lady an apology. See the article in today’s TGI. Turns out she was correct that something was amiss. These trees were on public land. The Dept of Parks and Recreation blew it.


  3. commonsense November 7, 2019 1:05 pm Reply

    If you read more carefully, the author states the trees were on the makai (ocean) side of the path. This would mean the trees were not on their property since the path does not pass through private property/ This property where the trees are is most likely state (public) property, therefore making it illegal to cut the trees without proper authorization from the state.


    1. MisterM November 9, 2019 6:49 am Reply

      Ironwoods shouldn’t be there anyway. They are an invasive species wreaking havoc across the islands and should be eradicated. Plant natives to replace them if new trees are needed.


  4. bbbobby November 7, 2019 7:57 pm Reply

    ironwoods are the worst


  5. Citizen November 8, 2019 4:08 am Reply

    The trees were Makai side of the path, so who cut them? This article doesn’t contain much information, just accusations. Did a lone property owner cut the trees at midnight to improve his view? Or did the county trim it?


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