We shall be returning those 2551 miles too soon (see photo.) I am becoming dangerously relaxed here in Hawaii.
This photo was taken in Lanai City, a tiny town on the rural island of Lania, formerly the Dole pineapple planation. A book on the island says most of the native inhabitants were "relocated" while this was happening, forced from their ancestral lands so an invader could fatten himself with wealth..
The history of imperialism in Hawaii is omnipresent and continues to this day. Currently, Lanai is being remade as an upscale rural tourist island with plans for suburbanization. So, then what happens to the locals?
Sometimes they get forced out. Property taxes here are based on assessed value and are re-assessed every year. Take a family that’s been here for generations on five acres at the beach growing their own food. Taxes are tiny. Oprah buys the three acres next door for 2 million. Property taxes for everyone in the area then soar, maybe to the point where the long-time family can’t afford it. Some counties in Hawaii, like Maui, have a circuit breaker, i.e., property taxes can be no more than 3% of gross income. But other counties have no such protection. Remember, these are families that may have been here for generations and who have little income.
Lanai is still mostly uninhabited. I’d like to come back and spend a few days here hiking and swimming (before the ‘burbs come.) More and more, Los Angeles seems a ‘life out of balance."