Wednesday, December 05, 2007

We Lose Another One

One of our officers called this morning for us to check on some shore-side development he saw from his patrol boat.

We tracked down the parcel ... and it's the same story we hear all the time here.

There's a small bay in South Kohala that the tourists haven't found yet. You turn off the highway, then take another turn down a partially paved road, then turn makai at telephone no. xx onto a rough dirt track. When the track ends you can hike through the kiawe to a small enclosed bay, lined with rocks and trees and a small black sand beach.

There might be eight or nine sunbathers and swimmers there on a busy day. Local guys throw-net fish from the rocks. The currents are rough, but it's nice swimming for those who understand the ocean.

Some traitor must have shown a developer the bay. He liked it - it's private and secluded and pristine - and Paradise could be his for 3.8 million. We traced the records online; it's now owned by a group out of California. Or, as the officer put it, "more asshole Californians."

So they bought the land along it for development. We can notify Aquatics and Forestry and Historic Preservation that they need to keep an eye on this development, but it's not our kuleana and we don't have the authority to stop it. It's County land, zoned "hotel"," and the County never met a permit they didn't like.

So one more private place will be lost. Money will buy what was once only earned through friendship, family, and time. The rest of us will have beach access, of course; but a beach isn't quite the same when it's ringed by condos. Rich investors will come and vacation here and have an authentic Hawaiian experience behind their gates and walls - marred only, perhaps, by the bad attitude of the locals they encounter when they venture out.

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