No return business
There’s not too much aloha these days at Kealakekua Bay; I have been visiting the Big island for more than 40 years and always have enjoyed drifting our boat into Kealakekua Bay for an hour or two of snorkeling. Not so this week: We were told we now needed a permit and were escorted out of Kealakekua Bay by four police vessels.
I asked the officer where to get a permit and he said, “I dunno.” Nice.
Apparently there has been a moratorium placed on vessels in the bay — but only on some of the vessels. Fairwind and other tours are somehow exempt. These tour operators have undoubtedly done far, far more damage to ecosystems in Kealakekua Bay than all other pleasure craft combined.
While I’m sure they have good intentions to try and mitigate their impact, simple logic dictates that tour operators who have brought hundreds of thousands of people into Kealakekua Bay will cause a very significant impact.
This is our 61st trip to the Big Island, so I think I can contribute a fairly knowledgeable input from a visitor’s perspective. And when you’re banned from a place where you are doing absolutely no harm and for no apparent logical reason, it tends to leave a pretty bad taste in your mouth.
In fact, I just cancelled our next Kona trip and re-booked to the Virgin Islands. We’ll see if our tourism dollars are more appreciated there.
A hopeless cause
I read about the Hawaii Community Corrections Center getting $600,000 to help inmates with mental and addiction problems. It’s throwing away money on a hopeless cause.
Those with drug addiction problems, especially meth, will only go back to using meth again, so why waste money trying to rehabilitate them? They are a lost cause. That’s why the commercial says, “meth, not even once.”
Those with mental challenges probably have been treated numerous times in their lives before, so what will treating them for six months to a year before release do to ensure public safety?
I questioning the validity of this program. Couldn’t it be better used in other ways? Our community is already lacking funds for so many other more worthwhile causes.
OK, who started it? Whomever it was, needs to raise his hand, stand up, and then shut up.
We live on the Big Island; officially, the Island of Hawaii. We have survived: The Orchid Isle and the Volcano Isle. This new moniker will only confuse people who don’t know anything about Hawaii and even those who think they do.
I have experienced the following scenario all over the U.S. mainland and in Europe:
Q. Where are you from?
Q. Which island? (You think this person knows something about Hawaii.)
Q. Yeah, I know, but what island? Huh?
A. The Big Island.
OK, so Mr. Mayor and Hawaii Visitors Bureau, start sending out a few press releases and nip this foolishness in the bud. And start with our local news stations.