Blue Beach Chairs

Let’s draw a line in the sand (May 19, 2018)

I’m sorry, but the gentrification of Ala Moana Regional Park is unacceptable (“These Blue Beach Chairs Are Riling The Ala Moana Regulars”).

Park Lane residents can use the beach in the same manner that the rest of us do and either haul their own stuff as they come to the beach or pay someone to walk along with them and carry it in the manner of a servant or “caddy” — and I hope no one will stoop to do so.

If I come across one of these setups in my time at Ala Moana beach park, I’m going to sit 2 inches away and in front of their towel and chairs and invite others to do so with me. Or if I’m feeling particularly incensed, maybe I’ll sit in the chairs and be good and wet when I do so.

For the people: Surfers are careful to traverse the reef on their way back from surfing a break just off Ala Moana Regional Park. Anthony Quintano/Civil Beat

And, by the way, why are more volleyball courts being set up beyond the first Ewa side shower when there is plenty of room for them at the end of the beach where they have traditionally played and have a newly constructed grass area all to themselves? Does this activity require a permit?

The more of us there are in this place, the most considerate people need to be of their impact. That doesn’t seem to be a socially prevalent concept these days. It’s time to draw a line in the sand.

P.S. And from the Mauka side Kakaako (I live near the top of Ward), the ocean view is now almost fully obstructed and soon will be complete.

— Mary Spadaro, Honolulu

We must stop this “dark development” (May 18, 2018)

How could this kind of activity be tolerated by the public?  When the ultra-rich can hire minions to “save space” on a public beach, we are in trouble!

If we cannot get City and County rulings against this kind of activity, what will happen to future beach-goers who visit Ala Moana Park?

We need groups to band together to stop this dark development on our public beaches.

— John and Rita Shockley, Makakilo

Puna Developments

No wonder the land was so cheap (May 18, 2018)

In February of this year my husband and I visited the Big Island from our home in Tokyo, somewhat casually looking at property.

The long-held dream of living in paradise silently dogged our footsteps. A string of chance encounters led us to a lovely home near Pahoa, one we could actually afford.

Forty-eight hours later, we made an offer. A couple of weeks after that, we were homeowners and will relocate in August. We dread the move, but on the horizon is the dream, nestled among waving palm trees, with orchids in the garden and coqui frogs singing us to sleep.

Then Lady Pele had a hissy fit. I read an article in Civil Beat about how the land boom of the 1970s led to rapid population of an area that was probably never meant for human habitation, at least not in this epoch (“Big Island: How Land Schemes Turned Lava Fields Into Subdivisions”).

I don’t blame those greedy land barons; my naïveté is my own fault. Nor do I blame Lady Pele. I would probably feel the same way.

But in some ways, the lava and ash and noxious fumes make the experience something more grounded in gratitude, something to be respected.

Is this foolishness? We shall see.

— Eda Sterner, Tokyo, Japan

More details, please (May 20, 2018)

Thanks very much for this article! I didn’t know about the scurrilous history behind these “eat-me-Pele!” developments.

What I would like to know is a more expanded, detailed timeline of how and when geologists figured out how the movement of the Pacific Plate over the hot spot guided the changing location of the volcanic hazard. Reports were published in scientific journals available nationally. Please include citations. Their delivery by U.S. mail was fast enough to have reached authorities in Hawaii who should have downzoned much of Puna.

The only way lower Puna should be growing is in land area. Poor people shouldn’t have to live in a volcanic hazard area. There are tools like land trusts and co-ops which can keep costs down in safer areas.

— Jean Smiling Coyote, Chicago

Treasuring Puna’s shortcomings (May 18, 2018)

Ah, another recent transplant who comes to one of our island’s rural areas and immediately wants to change it, to gentrify it, to her standards. Perhaps she should have settled somewhere else that coincided with her standards.  This is a recurring and repugnant pattern when so many mainlanders follow the allure of cheap land, then realize what that means in terms of infrastructure, services and demography.

We realize the shortcomings of many parts of our islands, in fact we treasure them as disincentives to prevent gentrification. Yes, it is annoying when the more powerful districts ignore the weak, except at tax time, but it helps keep us from becoming another Kailua-Kona, Kailua, Lahaina or other outside-exploited area.

Pave the rest of the road — then the rent-a-cars, the California realtors, and the decline of the neighborhood follows. Emigration is the flip side of immigration; please keep that as an option.

— Rick Warshauer, Volcano

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