POSTED: 20 JANUARY 2008 - 6:30pm HST

Tomorrow it might begin!

image above: View east on Koloa Road towardssome of the threatened Monkeypod trees.
Photo by Juan Wilson

Site work to start on Koloa Shops Monday
by Linda Harmon on 20 January 2008

Come out tomorrow morning at 6:30am to help save the trees!

I just received a call from Gay Young, one in a phone tree for Koloa Save the Tree Group and member of Outdoor Circle Group alerting us to the construction team coming in tomorrow to put up a dust fence and maybe do some prunning.

My friend who does prunning for a living told me that once they start the chain saws and say they want to take the trees down they will come down rapidly. The call put out by Koloa Save the Trees is for everyone able to go there to be there at the site in old koloa town at 6:30am tomorrow morning, January 21. Call or and email your friends and neighbors regarding the matter.



POSTED: 9 JANUARY 2008 - 4:30pm HST

Message from The Nelson Companies Inc.

image above: A plaza proudly featured on the Nelson Companies website as an example of their work

by Juan Wilson on 9 January 2008

The Knudsen Trust has planned the development of a shopping plaza in Old Koloa Town, which will result in razing of over two dozen large, old Monkeypod trees.  Community members have been involved in a vigil protesting this action.

Linda Harmon, one of the activists trying to save the Koloa monkeypods made a personal call to the developer The Nelson Company Incorporated. She was unable to reach David Nelson but did get through to a woman in charge of public relations for the firm. In Linda's account:

"I just got in touch with Nicole, the marketing specialist of the Nelson Companies Inc. I told her who I was and where I lived and said basically that I knew she was an expert at her job of marketing and would therefore realize the value of working with the community to preserve its rich tree heritage, how it would excite the community if the developer would work with the county to change the design of the mall to preserve most of the trees. She thanked me for calling and said she had no comment at this time. Call 248-539-9020 ext.316 to reach her extension."

It is instructive to look at the NelsonsCompany's website. It is divided between property management and development. On the development side we are treated to examples of Nelson work.

There are several shots of this pathetic project made of  Dryvit (vinyl paint over fiberglass cloth over beadfoam over studs). It's made to last a decade.

Here's another angle on the Remax realty franchise. I wonder if they are in business anymore. This paved over site was not the only project Nelson was proud to display.

Here is a more substantial development by comparison. This appears to be faced with brick with some metal roofing. This may be passible as architecture for a mainland plaza in the middle of nowhere. But here?

Here is an afternoon view of the plaza with a CVS drugstore. Just look at the insensitively executed landscaping. Is this the work of anyone capable of good site design, landscaping and planning on the Garden Island in the middle of the tropics? I think not.

The real agenda of this company is on their website but buried in code.


"The Nelson Companies has acquired the skills to locate the right real estate development opportunity, and once found, know how to achieve its highest and best use. The company never has a preconceived notion of what is the best way to achieve a real estate development's highest and best use; they have a willingness to explore all the possibilities. And by working with the best architects, engineers and other professionals, The Nelson Companies has been able to create real estate investments of extraordinary value."


The code is epitomized by the words "highest and best use" which in planning translate to "densest and most lucrative". The term "investment of extraordinary value" translates to "we get it done on the cheap" . The message on the Nelson website is clear "Nelson will squeeze every penny out a community for maximum revenues. Screw the anemities!"

Under "New Developments" the Nelson website lists "The Shops at Koloa Town". There they illustrate how to make a project look good even if it is a dog. That is what renderings are for. Nelson makes it look like they are saving the trees on the site while actually planning to cut them down.

The plan shows almost every monkeypod tree they have marked for destruction still standing in the middle of the central parking lot. This is an architectural lie. It might be true in fifty years if the owner plants and maintains new trees i the middle of the blacktop parking lot, but it is not what will be built by the developer. The tree planting plan dated 12/28/07 provided by the developer show the bulk of these trees down. See Monkeypod Count for details.

Candlelight Vigil in Koloa for Trees
by Jeri DePietro on 8 January 2008

We are doing it again! Come be a part of our 12 hour vigil! David Nelson, the Michigan developer of the Koloa Marketplace is scheduled to be on Kauai on Monday, January 7th. This is a possible date for the cutting of the monkeypod trees on the site. A vigil is scheduled for that day:


Save the historic trees of Old Koloa Town

Monday, January 12, 2008 10am - 10pm


Save the Trees - BLOCK PARTY!
Come make signs under the monkey pod trees.
A Candlelight Vigil at Sunset.

Old Koloa Town, on Koloa Road

Design around the trees, let them live!

Jeri DePietro



Eric Knudsen - owner
PO Box 415
Verdi  NV  89439

Stacey Wong - trustee
E. A. Knudsen Trust
PO Box 759
Kalaheo  HI  96741
Phone: 808-332-5676


The Nelson Companies Incorporated

David Nelson - developer
Send at least a cc, if not a separate e-mail to

Susie Wojtowicz - lease administrator

Nelson Development
6960 Orchid Lake Rd suite 200
West Bloomfield MI 48322

phone: 248-539-9020 ext. 322

see also:
Island Breath: Koloa Trees = Koloa Town 1/2/08
Island Breath: Short count on tree canopy 12/31/07
Island Breath: Candlelight Vigil for trees 12/29/07
Island Breath: Monkeypod S.O.S. 12/27/07
Island Breath: Monkeypod Threes Threatened 12/18/07
Island Breath: Koloa Village Plaza Plan 8/9/06
Island Breath: Koloa-Poipu Moratorium 7/23/06
Island Breath: KCC Cuts beloved Monkrypods 5/31/06