Let’s keep highway clean and worthy of its namesake
When first built, Queen Kaahumanu Highway was a convenience beyond imagination. Its name conjured visions of Hawaiian royalty as the traveler viewed nature’s scenic beauty through ancient lava fields that complemented the endless vistas made available from the mountains to the sea and beyond.
Gradually, the beauty became marred by the growth of the invasive fountain grass and the coral graffiti placed along the roadside in the lava. The deterioration affected the Queen Kaahumanu name and it eventually became more commonly known as The Queen K. Highway. No longer was there any resemblance of royalty. Sadly, it became a kapulu — a Hawaiian word meaning messy or dirty — highway dishonoring the wife of Hawaii’s favorite king.
Then one day, a group of people decided to pick up the coral that littered the roadside. They began from the Kona area and have made their effort visibly known all the way to Anaehoomalu Bay, restoring the original beauty of the lava fields. Their efforts are appreciated by many of us and we hope that the state Department of Highways will recognize them for their contribution in restoring some of the beauty befitting the queen.
We, as a community, should make the effort to keep Queen Kaahumanu Highway a place worthy of the name. It would be more respectful to change the name of the highway than to allow it to return to the kapulu state again.