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Letters 11-2-2012

Keauhou Beach Hotel

More than a building

Shame on you, Mr. Radmilovch, for saying that razing the Keauhou Beach Hotel is a gain for our community — 112 jobs lost not only affects 112 people. Each job lost will negatively impact each family by this closure. It’s hard enough in this economy to make ends meet in a working two-parent household with the cost of living in Kona being 50 percent higher than the U.S. average. But it does not stop there. Each family will now spend less at KTA, restaurants, Ross, movie theaters, etc., impacting these businesses, as well.

Thank you, Ms. Whitehawk, for taking the words right out of my mouth. Reading Mr. Radmilovchs’ letter was more than upsetting to me.

I began working at the Keauhou Beach Resort soon after completing high school and spent more than 12 years of my life employed there in various departments. Although I am not currently employed at the resort, many of its employees have been there for decades. I have gained lifelong relationships with many of the employees and I consider all of them to be my extended “ohana.” I, too, together with Ms. Whitehawk, have sentimental connections to the resort. My fondest memory is getting married on the grounds 15 years ago.

It saddens me greatly to see “my ohana” lose their jobs and horrifies me even more that there are people like Mr. Radmilovch in our community who are “happy” about the situation. My own mother is one of the middle-aged employees who has worked at this resort for nearly 30 years. She is not old enough to collect Social Security and is the sole “bread winner” in her household, as my father is unable to gain employment because of a back injury. She will now be left without a job, having to start at the bottom of wherever she can gain employment — and most distressing, she will be without medical insurance during this interim.

I believe that Kamehameha Investment Corp. had the opportunity to turn the resort into a more profitable investment with a complete renovation. The resort was built in the late 1960s and had only “cosmetic” renovations completed over the years. The resort needed internal updating and repairs Kamehameha Investment Corp. continued to dismiss and/or ignore. Therefore, the resort was considered to be average.

Yes, it would have had to spend millions to completely renovate, but it will spend even more to raze the structure and obtain environmental impact assessments, etc.

The building itself may not have been a beautiful, architecturally designed one, however, the lush grounds, committed employees and cultural history are more beautiful than words can describe.

Once the building is removed, it is unlikely it could be improved with a hotel again and KIC will also lose the asset value of the resort site.

I agree completely with Ms. Whitehawk that the demise of this resort is a tragedy on so many levels. The Keauhou Beach Resort and its employees hold a very special place in my heart.

I wish all of them all the best.

Nicole Ah Mow


Keauhou Beach Hotel

A sad passing

It is with some sadness that I contemplate the closing of the Keauhou Beach Hotel after many years of providing a meeting place for important cultural events, such as the four-day lalau lapaau conference in February 1988. Approximately 65 kupuna from every island, representing several branches of traditional healing arts, led by Uncle Harry Mitchell and Kahu Kawika Kaalakea, gathered to meet and share knowledge with their compatriots, many as yet unknown to one another.

This gathering was the fruition of a years-long effort by Uncle Harry to bring together these elders and bring into the light of day this spiritual treasure house of near-forgotten lore.

The hotel and its staff have been foremost in introducing the aloha spirit; they will be sorely missed.

Upon its closing, the community will also be without the services of the Kalona Spa, a bastion of tranquility.

Kaohu Chang Monfort


Laaloa parking

A note of thanks

Can we get a West Hawaii Today shout out mahalo nui loa to the County of Hawaii and especially Parks and Recreation and Public Works departments for the new Laaloa parking park?

Having recently moved back to Kona from Oahu, I have been cycling and running past the site for weeks curious about what would be emerging from behind the Tyvek curtain and fearful it would be something else exclusive and private.

Heck no.

I learned today that the master plan includes eliminating on-street parking at Laaloa, as well as construction of a similar facility and on-street car removal at Kahaluu Bay. Yay.

Georgette Yaindl