Reopen the bay now
It was with much dismay and disappointment I learned the state of Hawaii closed Kealakekua Bay to all kayaks very abruptly and without any public notice, comment or input. Stated reasons for such closure are:
Illegal vendors (non-licensed) conducting drug activity and operating in the park and not paying appropriate taxes to state and or local jurisdictions.
People disrespecting sacred site at Kaawaloa Flat.
People swimming with dolphins.
It is a knee-jerk reaction to close Kealakekua Bay to kayaks and deny the general public access to the bay because state or county authorities have been unable or unwilling to deal with violations of rules, regulations and laws by a few. Based on our observation, these violations have been going for years and no one has been cited. Last year, the first year of landing permit requirement for kayaks at Kaawaloa Flat was a joke. Ten permits were issued each day however one could count 25 to 30 kayaks at the monument. Where was enforcement? Why were the nonlicensed vendors not cited and fined just like any other violators? The same applies to drug activity or cockfighting that appears to go unchecked on the island.
Rather than closing off Kealakekua Bay to kayaks and thereby punishing the general public, it would be much more appropriate to deal with violators of laws.
Solving real problems is far more difficult than taking the easy way out by closing Kealakekua Bay.
Having been on the bay and seeing many, many dolphins swimming amid kayakers and swimmers we never once saw anyone harassing or bothering the dolphins. In fact, the dolphins control the bay and waters.
There are many, many local swimmers who swim in Kealakekua Bay every day and very often the dolphins swim with them.
I recommend that the Department of Land and Natural Resources open the gate to Kealakekua Bay immediately and allow kayakers on the bay while it addresses the issues that have nothing to do with the kayaks on the bay.
Kealakekua Bay is a sheltered area where beginning kayakers and families can safely enjoy the beauty of the island. There are very few places on the Kona Coast where one can launch a kayak safely into the ocean.
Consequence without proper planning?
I am writing about the impact that the Living Stones Church is having on the community of what is known as Alii Kai Subdivision.
We are an old neighbor-hood and we don’t have the most beautiful homes here. But this neighborhood has some of the older families of the Kona community.
The concerns are the parking, traffic volume and impacts of the increased number of people who attend the services there. Keep in mind I have no opposition to the purpose of the church there. I think the more people who attend a church, the better it is for our community.
But, there has to be adherence to the rules and regulations and the approval processes that govern these kinds of activities. The building is a very old building that is not capable of handling the number of people who frequently attend the services there. Usually, occupancy and safety are major concerns of the county where remedies need to be defined with public input.
The other concern is the makeshift parking lot there. I have not seen any publication for application for such a large parking lot. The parking lot does not meet the standards and has an adverse aesthetic impact on the community up Royal Poinciana Drive.
The Alii Kai community has been stepped on many times before without any input before things were done that have such adverse effects on the residents of this neighborhood.