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A year after the City and County banned commercial activity at Kailua’s beach parks, associate editor Tiffany Hill took a look at how the ban has impacted the community.
In the 1950s and ’60s there was great concern about destructive commercial tourism development of the Windward Oahu beachfront areas such that the city and state took the courageous action of condemning hundreds of acres of private land, creating public beach parks in Kailua, Kalama, Kualoa, Kahana and more. The idea was that respect for the public legal stature of these lands would prevent their use for private commercial purposes, with the various city and state land use regulations and procedures in place as control mechanisms. Perhaps the city and state naively assumed there would be a bit of respect for the intent of the law as well.
None of that legal protocol has been followed by the kayak vendors operating daily in the park, on the beach or flooding the sidewalks with yellow kayaks and storing commercial business equipment in the park. The very concept of keeping these lands public is disrespected daily by these vendors as they turn Kailua Bay and surrounding neighborhoods into a commercial waterpark.
Perhaps they do not recall the outcry over impending commercialization and the struggle to create these public lands; perhaps they do not understand or respect the idea of public lands; perhaps they do not care. At this point, the city cannot pull their permits to control the abuse, as there are no permits to pull. As the article says, there are no commercial permits for Kailua Beach Park, yet, daily, hundreds of commercial kayak tours pass through the park and beach.
The citizens and officials stood tall in the ’60s to create these public parks for the future; the future that they sought is not the future that has unfolded. It is up to the current breed to fix that problem and restore respect to the law and to the land.
—Ted Ralston • Waimanalo, Hawaii
I feel this article was, for the most part, well balanced. Showing all sides of the octagon is much appreciated. I do not miss those big-ass tour buses at all. I appreciate the town sticking together. It’s nice to share the aloha with the whole island and our visitors from all over the world, in smaller increments!
—Michael Mckenna • Kailua, Hawaii
Managing editor Michael Keany wondered why local businesses and institutions are banning e-cigarettes along with the real, tobacco ones.
After smoking cigarettes for 48 years, I took up the e-cig and haven’t smoked since. The bans taking place on e-cigs means that Hawaii just got cancelled as my next vacation. Cozumel, here I come.
—Michelle Hawkins-Hazelwood (via Facebook)
Well said. I quit smoking by using e-cigs over a year ago and have not looked back. Here in California, legislation is looking like it will pass putting the same restrictions on e-cig users that smokers now have. This will affect many who might try e-cigs as a viable method to quit smoking, thus hurting public health. I hate to be a conspiracy nut but I have to wonder if big tobacco money has anything to do with this.
—Brian Evans • Moreno Valley, Calif. (via Facebook)