H. Doug Matsuoka's notes in the margin of the Big Everything.

6.15.2013

The Westlake Project



The more years pass the more of a wonder it is that some of your friends never grow old. Unfortunately, they're the ones that died young.

Wayne Kaumualii Westlake was 36 years old in 1984 when a drunk woman crossed the centerline and cranked into his car. That was the end of this crazy, funny, Taoist, blond haired angry Hawaiian poet…the end of parties featuring pyramids of sake bottles and new translations of ancient Chinese poets or poems from being a janitor or just down on the sidewalk in Waikiki. My dad called him a "wandering poet like Basho or Issa," and the Universe I live in accommodates that quite comfortably. Wayne himself insisted that Li Po was of Central Asian descent and had blond hair and blue eyes. What a coincidence! (Which is not to say Li Po was Hawaiian or that Westlake had blue eyes.)

Wayne's companion (and literary executor) Mei-Li M. Siy stashed all his poems and manuscripts and bits of paper he wrote on, but as kind as time is to memory it is cruel to paper. When Wayne's friend Richard Hamasaki decided to gather together and publish Wayne's poems for posterity he had to rescue the manuscripts from the very brink of oblivion:


6.11.2013

City's Bill 54 raid illegally seizes signs on private property

[These signs on private property were seized by City & County crews, were damaged, and have not been returned. Photo by Choon James.]
This is really crazy. I've been writing about how the City has been using Bill 54 (ordinance 11-029) to seize hundreds of signs from deOccupy Honolulu and I know sometimes the reaction is "yeah sure sure whatever" because deOccupy Honolulu is often painted as a fringe group.

But this video made by Choon James shows how City crews swooped into Hauula and tore down protest signs James has had on her own private property. And they used Bill 54 to do it. Which is completely illegal because Bill 54 is about storing property on public property. Well, that doesn't seem to matter to the civil authorities at Thomas Square for deOccupy Honolulu, and it doesn't matter in Hauula either, I guess.

Does she actually own the property the signs were on?