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Wednesday, April 13, 2022

Ka‘ū News Briefs, Wednesday, April 13, 2022

Boulders were dropped along the roadsides near Punalu'u Black Sand Beach on Tuesday, to direct
motorists to a mauka parking lot. No-Parking signs were installed on the black sand beach where
visitors and locals have parked for generations. Photo by Bob Martin

THE LANDSCAPE AROUND PUNALU'U BEACH CHANGED ON WEDNESDAY with the arrival of boulders and no-parking signs to direct people away from driving vehicles onto the black sand and onto the shoulders of adjacent county and private roads. The boulders along Ninole Loop start at the private parking lot belonging to Eva Liu on her 445 acres at Punalu'u below Hwy 11. The boulder lines run on both sides of the county and private roads past Jeanette Howard's house and the Dahlberg House. They stop where the pavement ends and the black sand begins.
    No-Parking Anytime signs advise drivers not to leave their cars on the beach. Along the pavement closest to the beach, the boulders make it impossible for people to park on the roadside. As a result, the parking lot, which formerly served the Black Sands restaurant and museum, drew motorists who parked and walked to the beach on Tuesday. In the parking lot, lines delineating stalls have been painted white, while yellow paint covers the curbs.
Yellow curbs and a cleaned-up parking lot drew visitors who faced boulders
 blocking parking along the roads next to Punalu'u Black Sand Beach, with
no-parking signs at the beach. Photo by Bob Martin

    Liu said that eventually there will be a charge for parking but for now it's free. In the future, any money collected for parking will go to a nonprofit stewarding the place, Liu said. Remnants of a paved path from the parking lot to the beach were recently cleared of overgrowth and will become a safe walkway once a small bridge is built over a gully running through it, said Liu.
    County Council Chair Maile David stated she supports "not having vehicles on the beach and redirecting all parking to the newly created parking lot." She said it would "protect this significant cultural resource against adverse environmental impacts from fluids from cars parked on the sandy beach areas." She noted that she will work with county Department of Public Works "to have signage installed directing motorists to the public beach parking lot area."
    Left with parking on the sand are workers at the vendor stand, the lifeguards and those with disabilities. Candice Kaawa, who works for Liu, said she will put up handicapped parking signs next week. She also said that without the cars parking on the beach, the lifeguards who take their vehicles in and out of the area, "said they could actually go in and reverse, and not have any problem." She also said, "It's safer. People can walk now without cars just zoomin' in."
Path to the beach from the parking lot at Punalu'u.
Photo by Bob Martin
    Sea Mountain at Punalu'u condominium owner Matt Baker pointed to the open space from the road to the beach and said, "This is no longer a parking lot to the beach. It's a road to the beach. People won't be parking everywhere anymore. There's a nice pathway to go up to the parking lot. This whole area was so congested. It was so dangerous and now people can park safely, have an experience and start taking in the beach before they even get here, hear the birds and walk into this beautiful area. This is wonderful."
    Concerning no parking on the black sand, Baker said, "We're not making new black sand. It's only a one time deal, from what I understand. Now that people aren't parking on the beach, they won't be driving away with sands, which is a limited, precious, black sands. So that won't be happening anymore."
    Additional cleaning of the area, including lands around the old restaurant and museum will be the goal of a volunteer cleanup this Saturday, led by O Ka'u Kakou, said Liu.

To read comments, add your own, and like this story, see www.facebook.com/kaucalendar/.See latest print edition at www.kaucalendar.com. See upcoming events at https://kaunewsbriefs.blogspot.com/2022/03/upcoming-events-for-kau-and-volcano

BEING A CITIZEN ADVOCATE AT THE HAWAI'I LEGISLATURE at the end of session presents some challenges. The Public Access Room points out that this is a time of conference meetings between House of Representative and Senate members: "Conference is often marked by long periods of waiting, interrupted by whirlwinds of activity, and it’s all hard to follow! Much of the action takes place between

legislators away from the conference meetings. As an advocate, what can you do to make your voice heard? While no public testimony is accepted, you can certainly contact those members named to the conference committee, especially the chairs. Refine your message to be clear on any aspects of the bill you find absolutely necessary (or unacceptable). Don’t forget to also let your own legislators, as well as others with whom you’ve developed a relationship, know your view — you never know when they may be helpful."
     On the Legislature’s website (capitol.hawaii.gov), use the “Conference Committee” bar on the Reports and Lists page for assistance in following the action. "Remember, if your bill has any fiscal implications, or has been referred to FIN or WAM, it’ll need the money committee’s blessing. The deadline for bills to emerge with a conference draft is Thursday, April 28th, for non-fiscal bills and Friday, April 29th, for fiscal bills." Learn more about being involved with the Hawai'i Legislature at https://lrb.hawaii.gov/par/

To read comments, add your own, and like this story, see www.facebook.com/kaucalendar/.See latest print edition at www.kaucalendar.com. See upcoming events at https://kaunewsbriefs.blogspot.com/2022/03/upcoming-events-for-kau-and-volcano

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