Monday, July 24, 2006

Lot 2338

Just came back from Hilo, where I had to facilitate a contested case [more or less like an administrative court case] for work. One of the intervenors had put out an Action Alert! calling for surfers and `opihi pickers and fishermen and native Hawaiians and everyone else to come out and oppose the project. It was a bit misleading, as today was today was for administrative procedures, not public testimony.

So I got on the plane ready to face the mob. I've seen 'em riled up, and I've seen how even innocent meetings get side tracked by passionate asides. People got so hysterical at the first bicycle transit meeting that I went to that they were claiming that bicyclists were a threat to the safety of their children, Hawaiian sovereignty, and their basic way of life. And I write that without an ounce of exaggeration.

I was ready for battle, both dreading it and kind of excited. But the crowd that turned out was soft spoken, rational, and at times quite moving. I need to remain neutral on the case, so I can't go into detail [or my personal thoughts on the issues], but it looks like part of the case will be decided based on the significance of a mysterious Lot 2338. The outside world knows it as a koa, or fishermen's shrine. It came out in testimony that it might be the burial site of Kauwe, an old ali`i. It's unclear why Kauwe would have been buried there, and the speakers said that the story was private, and not for outsiders to know. They did want it known that development would spoil the mana. And some hinted that there was even more, something buried in the walls that they can't or won't speak of.

Living in the city it's easy to forget that, in the countryside, the old traditions are still strong.

On the homefront: a mystery. I came home to find hints of Roy [fine], and his toiletries back in the cupboard, and his luggage back in the laundry room. I'm not sure what's going on. I told him he needed to go to AA and set a date to move out. He chose to leave that night, saying goodbye in a note. Now I don't know if he's here or somewhere else. Part of me is relieved - I want to know that he's safe [though why wasn't he working?]. And part annoyed - I already grieved twice. I suppose I'll find out soon enough what's going on.

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